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U.S. Nearly Doubles Aid To UNHCR

At an event to mark World Refugee Day, “[t]he United States on Thursday [nearly] doubled its aid to the U.N. refugee organization to some $890 million,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Some $289.3 million of the funds going to the UNHCR are earmarked for Syrian refugees and had been previously unveiled by the U.S. administration,” the news service adds (Biddle, 6/21). “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement Thursday as [U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres] warned that one person every four seconds flees home somewhere in the world to escape violence and strife,” VOA News writes, noting, “Guterres spoke via satellite link from a refugee camp in Jordan that he visited with [actor Angelina Jolie], his special envoy” (Hoke, 6/21). “The sum makes the United States the largest single contributor to the UNHCR, Kerry added,” AFP writes (6/21). “A new report [.pdf] released by the UNHCR warns that there are now 45.2 million people who are refugees or internally displaced, an 18-year high,” according to Reuters/Solar News, which adds, “The report cited the crisis in Syria as the reason behind the increase” (6/21).