Jesuit Refugee Service/USA applauds the U.S. Senate for combating severe cuts to overseas refugee assistance programs in its recently released FY24 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill. As negotiations continue, we call on Congress to prioritize programs that meet the needs of millions of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
“Last month, we expressed disappointment in the House of Representatives’ proposal to enact severe cuts in funding for programs that make a positive impact on the lives of refugees across the globe,” said Joan Rosenhauer, President of JRS/USA. “We are thankful that the Senate has responded with a bill that better recognizes the important role U.S. funding plays in providing life-saving assistance to those who have been forced to flee their homes.”
The Senate FY24 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding bill includes $4.2 billion for the Migration and Refugee Assistance account, which is $1.7 billion above the House requested level, although it is approximately $200 million below the FY23 approved amount. The Senate bill also includes $30 million for Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a multilateral partnership that provides access to education for children and adolescents affected by conflict and JRS/USA-led report language that supports U.S. efforts to increase enrollment of refugees in higher education programs.
“We thank champions in the Senate who advocated for continued U.S. engagement and support for these critical programs, including Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC),” said Giulia McPherson, Vice President of Advocacy & Operations, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. “Along with advocates across the U.S., we will continue to urge our policymakers to oppose cuts to refugee assistance programs and sustain U.S.-led efforts that create opportunity and hope for refugees.”