Protect refugee programs from cuts

A woman feeling North Kivu

A woman carries her belongings and some sugar cane as she flees recent fighting in North Kivu province's Rutshuru region in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: UNHCR/S. Modola

The House of Representatives could reduce funds for refugee programs.

The U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittees that have jurisdiction over refugee funds have recommended reductions in funds for refugee assistance abroad and resettlement in the United States.

The House subcommittees proposed a 15 percent or $112 million reduction for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (within the Labor / Health and Human Services bill), and an 11 percent or $200 million reduction for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (within the State Department / Foreign Operations bill).

The White House and the U.S. Senate have proposed slight increases for both of these accounts, which would provide much needed assistance for refugees abroad and refugees and host communities in the U.S. The chart below outlines these accounts and the amounts proposed by the White House, Senate and House.

These House subcommittee numbers still have to be voted on by the House of Representatives at large, so there is still time to weigh in and urge Representatives to stop these House-proposed cuts and instead support the Senate numbers to provide robust funding for refugees.

YOUR Representative needs to know that his/her constituents and communities care about refugees, and want the refugee program to be fully funded. Current levels are still far from being sufficient, but cuts to refugee funds would have negative consequences for the most vulnerable – refugees in camps and urban environments overseas, and newly arriving refugees in the U.S.

Call your Representative TODAY through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Tell them who you are, why you care about refugees, and how you want them to reject the House proposed cuts, and instead support the Senate numbers to fully fund refugee programs. This one call can make a huge difference!.