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Combining U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Entities Could Strengthen U.S. Response

Devex: Opinion: A sensible way to strengthen U.S. humanitarian response and leadership
Gregory Gottlieb, director of the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and Howard (Roy) Williams, adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs

“…[T]he right approach [to improving humanitarian assistance] is combining all three relief entities [– USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, USAID’s Food for Peace, and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration –] under USAID, which would strengthen the U.S.’s ability to meet humanitarian needs, while keeping the refugee bureau intact to skillfully and diplomatically deal with broader refugee and migration issues. Refugee protection and admissions, along with humanitarian assistance, are mutually supportive efforts. It would be the cruelest of ironies for the U.S. to offer more effective humanitarian aid abroad while closing its doors to refugees and silencing America’s strong voice for the protection of refugees and migrants. We urge the administration to follow a more sensible reorganization of humanitarian assistance that creates a single office for assistance and preserves skilled diplomatic protection of refugees” (9/14).