UNHCR/USA/Iraq: A contribution of USD 12.1 million for contingency planning

Geneva, Feb 6 (KUNA) -- It was announced Thursday that the United States has contributed USD 12,100,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for humanitarian contingency planning for Iraq.

This new contribution brings to USD 15 million the total provided by the U.S. government to UNHCR for its preparations.

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Kevin E. Moley, delivered today a letter confirming the US contribution to High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers.

The letter states that the funds are intended to "support additional pre-positioning for supplies and staff over and above those contingency efforts already underway for a potential humanitarian emergency in the Middle East."

"This contribution will help UNHCR pre-position stockpiles of relief items, such as food, water and shelter materials, hire emergency staff and plan its response should the need arise," said Moley.

He added that it is known that the resources of the international community are already strained by on-going emergencies in Afghanistan and parts of Africa, which must not be forgotten.

"But contingency planning is the key to an effective humanitarian response. We therefore urge other governments to join us in providing the necessary support to international humanitarian organizations to prepare for all contingencies," added Moley.

This new contribution comes from a drawdown from the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund approved by President Bush on January 29, 2003. (end) hn


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