Today, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA’s Executive Director testified in front of the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related programs on the FY21 State & Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill. Her testimony urged legislators to maintain high levels of funding for refugee assistance around the world, especially for education programs.
“We urge the Subcommittee to include $3.6 billion for Migration & Refugee Assistance and $975 million for basic education programs, including $50 million in funding for Education Cannot Wait (ECW).”
Funding for displaced people around the world not only provides lifesaving programs for refugees, but also plays a vital role in asserting U.S. leadership and national interest. As recipients of funding through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population and Refugee Management (BPRM), JRS has seen first-hand the impact of these dollars.
For example, our work in South Africa, supported by BPRM, helps provides health and medical care to more than 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers, while our work in Cameroon, also supported by BPRM, provides women with economic and peace-building opportunities.
Funding for refugee education is particularly critical. Education offers an important form of protection for children, engenders hope, provides stability and a sense of normalcy, and acts as a form of vital psychosocial support to children whose lives have been disrupted by crisis. Yet, 3.7 million refugee children are currently out of school, and 75 million children in conflict-affected areas lack educational services.
You, too, can take action to ensure that the U.S. invests in critical programs for refugees. Write to your Member of Congress today: