Bush Authorizes $22 Million In Emergency Refugee Aid For Iraqis

United States President George Bush

Friday  March 21, 2003  0900PST

Funds would be used to help prevent a humanitarian crisis

President Bush authorized $22 million to be used for emergency aid to Iraqi refugees in the event that a humanitarian crisis develops in the Middle East as a result of coalition military force used against Iraq.

In a March 20 memorandum to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Bush said the money would be made available from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, and could be used to "provide contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations, as well as for administrative expenses."

Following is the text of President Bush's memorandum to Secretary Powell:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
March 20, 2003

March 20, 2003

Presidential Determination No. 2003-17

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT: Determination Pursuant to Section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as Amended

Pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2601(c)(1), I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest that up to $22 million be made available from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to meet unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs that are anticipated in the event of a future humanitarian emergency in the Middle East, to include contingency planning for such needs. Such an emergency may arise if it becomes necessary for the United States and other nations to use military force to disarm the Iraqi regime of its weapons of mass destruction. These funds may be used, as appropriate, to provide contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations, as well as for administrative expenses to manage this response by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

You are authorized and directed to inform the appropriate committees of the Congress of this determination and the obligation of funds under this authority, and to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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