United States leads world in humanitarian aid

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Burma, including these refugees in a queue at Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh in November 2017. (© A.M. Ahad/AP Images)

Jun 19, 2018

When man-made and natural disasters strike and millions lose or flee their homes, the United States does more to help than any other country.

It’s been that way for decades and remains so today. Reducing human suffering and helping the world’s refugees are cornerstones of U.S. national security policy.

All told, through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other agencies, the United States provided more than $8 billion in humanitarian assistance in fiscal year 2017 alone.

The United States is the most generous funder of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ front-line work ($1.5 billion last year). It emphasizes providing help to meet the needs of refugees and forcibly displaced people close to their homes until they can safely and voluntarily return home.

Other humanitarian organizations receiving PRM funding in fiscal year 2017 were: International Committee of the Red Cross ($415 million); UNICEF ($217 million); International Organization for Migration ($259 million); and other international and nongovernmental partners, including the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps and Catholic Relief Services.

World Refugee Day is June 20. The United Nations reports a record 68.5 million people have been forced from their homes, including nearly 25.3 million refugees. Over half the world’s refugees are children.