U.S. Department of State
Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken will announce $25 million in intended U.S. funding for the World Bank’s new financing initiative to support the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region today at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. The initiative aims to assist MENA countries affected by the Syrian refugee crisis, conflict, and economic instability by providing much needed access to additional financing.
Conflicts across the MENA region have created a crisis with global implications as refugees flood to neighboring states and beyond. Jordan is host to more than 638,000 Syrian refugees, as well as a longstanding population of two million Palestinian refugees and thousands of refugees from Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and other countries. Lebanon is currently hosting more than one million refugees from Syria, as well as the longstanding Palestinian refugee population and those displaced from Iraq. With so many people on the move in the Middle East and around the globe, the international community is facing the worst forced displacement crisis since World War II. This is not only a humanitarian crisis but also a development challenge, affecting the development plans of host countries as they endeavor to provide food, shelter, jobs, and services to refugees, internally displaced persons, and the communities hosting them, often for protracted periods of time.
This issue demands a global response and this is why President Obama will host the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September, with the aim of expanding the humanitarian safety net and creating more long-term, durable opportunities for refugees.
The United States has provided over $5.1 billion in humanitarian assistance to help individuals impacted by the crisis in Syria, both those displaced inside Syria and those who have fled to neighboring countries – making the United States the largest single donor responding to the crisis. The World Bank concessional finance facility would provide financing on discounted terms to countries currently ineligible for concessional loans through donor contributions to a multi-donor fund. The U.S funding for this initiative is subject to congressional notification.
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