The House Appropriations Committee released its Fiscal Year 2021 State & Foreign Operations funding bill, which includes $3.43 billion for migration and refugee assistance and $975 million for international basic education. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA supports the Committee’s allocation for these important accounts, which have a direct impact on the well-being of millions of the world’s refugees.
Last month, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced that there are 79.5 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, a record high. The FY21 State & Foreign Operations funding bill will help meet the basic needs of displaced persons, including access to food, water, shelter, healthcare, and education, and will support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA testified before the State & Foreign Operations Subcommittee highlighting that the crises of today call for continued U.S. engagement and support for refugee assistance programs. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated access to education with school closures impacting over 60 percent of the world’s student population. Funds allocated to international basic education will help provide stability to young people and affirm the role that education plays in offering vital psychosocial support to children whose lives have been disrupted by crisis.
In particular, we applaud the Committee for including $25 million for Education Cannot Wait (ECW). Multilateral partnerships like the U.S. partnership with ECW play an important role in building the political will necessary to create sustainable change and has helped solidify U.S. leadership in global education efforts.
JRS/USA thanks Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) for her long-standing support on behalf of international basic education and for her leadership as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. As she prepares to retire from Congress at the end of this year, we extend our deepest appreciation for all she has done on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable.