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Heritage Event: The U.S. Commitment to Refugee Protection and Assistance: A Humanitarian and Strategic Imperative

Recorded on June 20, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

As Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Ellen R. Sauerbrey oversees the U.S. response to some of the world's most vulnerable people: refugees and victims of conflict. The United States is the world's largest contributor to international humanitarian programs, giving nearly $1 billion in FY 2005 through refugee funds alone. The U.S. also leads the world in welcoming refugees to our shores - more than 53,000 from 55 countries last year. Providing protection and assistance - whether for refugees from Darfur, Liberians returning home to rebuild their country, or Colombians displaced by conflict - demonstrates America's compassion and generosity. These activities also uphold the first pillar of the President's National Security Strategy: to champion aspirations for human dignity. But how do we ensure that humanitarian needs are met in the context of the global war on terror, and why is our humanitarian assistance important for advancing freedom and stopping the spread of terror? How do we deploy resources strategically to ensure both accountability and effectiveness for people in need when we face so many competing global demands?

Please join us on World Refugee Day as Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey spotlights America's leadership in making this a world where suffering meets a compassionate response, where durable solutions are found for victims of persecution and tyranny, and where humanitarian aid is provided to alleviate human suffering and to advance peace and stability.