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U.S. Observes World Refugee Day, 20 June 2008

Press Statement (Revised)
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 19, 2008

World Refugee Day

The United States, on June 20th, will join the international community in observing World Refugee Day, taking time to acknowledge the persecution and suffering experienced by those driven from their homes. Our commitment to protecting and assisting refugees is deep and abiding, part of our nation’s history, and it goes to the very core of our values. We remain committed to protecting and developing durable solutions for refugees worldwide.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has made refugee protection the theme of this year’s events. All refugees should have access to basic life-sustaining assistance, including shelter, food, water, sanitation, health, and nutrition.

The United States government is proud to be the leading donor of refugee assistance, contributing more than $1 billion dollars a year to support multilateral efforts to help alleviate the suffering of more than 36 million people worldwide including refugees, internally displaced people, and other victims of conflict.

The United States has resettled more refugees than all other countries in the world combined, historically and in the present. More than 2.7 million refugees have been welcomed into the United States since 1975, making tremendous contributions throughout our country through their talents, hard work, and creativity.

2008/510
Released on June 19, 2008

ENDS

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