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determined not to be refugees and who do not object.
the U.N. High Commissioner to provide the necessary safeguards
to ensure that there is no force or coercion employed and that
the existing system for UNHCR monitoring in Vietnam is expanded
to cover all returnees.
Displaced persons in the Persian Gulf
The August 2 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq has generated a tremendous number of displaced persons. Exact figures are
difficult to determine, because more people flee Iraq and Kuwait
Those fleeing are generally not refugees suffering persecution, but rather third-country nationals who until
August 2 were employed in Iraq and Kuwait.
In most cases they
have escaped with few personal resources, and will return home
penniless. The overwhelming numbers of displaced persons impose a severe resource burden on countries such as Jordan and Turkey.
Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other countries have
undertaken impressive efforts to care for these displaced persons. Although conditions in some of the camps were
initially harsh, there have been no deaths due to starvation or
In Jordan, the worst camps have been closed
and the residents have been moved to new camps with adequate
Crescent societies in Jordan, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have been
in the forefront in helping care for the displaced persons.
They are now backed up by an array of international agencies and personnel. In Jordan, the U.N. Disaster Relief Organization
(UNDRO) coordinates the work of several U.N. agencies. The
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the League of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies (LICROSS) are also playing
U.S. and European non-governmental organizations
have become active as well.
Perhaps the most critical element in this emergency is the
effort to transport the displaced persons back to their home
countries. Egyptians make up the largest number of these
individuals. Saudi Arabia and the EC have now largely assured steady movement of Egyptians through Jordan and back home. India is stepping up repatriation of its citizens to more than 3,000 per day. The International Organization for Migration
(IOM) is coordinating transportation arrangements for the other
displaced persons, mostly those from South Asia whose
governments cannot cover the costs.
IOM scheduled the movement
of 50,000 persons through the end of September.
As a result of
those efforts, the number of persons in Jordan has dropped to
The international donor community has committed over
$200 million to this relief effort, including cash, aircraft,
borders, most will require the same short-term care and
transportation assistance as those who fled before them.
I would like to draw attention to an area of the world where
there is a grave humanitarian situation that has not received adequate attention of donor nations. I refer to the Liberian
refugee crisis, which began some eight months ago.
the number of refugees seeking protection in the neighboring
nations of Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, and Sierra Leone has doubled.
There are now more than 500,000 Liberians in asylum
one-fifth of the country's population. Although assistance
organizations have launched new efforts to care for these
refugees, the response of the donor community has been extremely disappointing. The United States has committed over $5 million in funding, including 30 percent of the initial UNHCR appeal,
and nearly all the food that has been made available for these
The rest of the international community has so far
contributed only $4.3 million toward this emergency appeal of
We continue to urge other donor nations not to
ignore their responsibility toward these refugees. We are concerned in particular about food deliveries to the refugees
in the Forest Region of Guinea; logistical problems have
hampered efforts to reach this area.
Malnutrition rates there
are high, which affect children most severely.
And, in each
case, the impact on the citizens of the neighboring countries
of asylum has been substantial.
We have asked the United
Nations to develop a coordinated plan to reach all affected
persons over the coming 6-9 months, as the situation inside of
Liberia remains unstable and uncertain.
Mr. Chairman, I have touched on some of the more visible
refugee programs that the United States funds.
But there are
still millions of victims of persecution and war whose
circumstances we have not had time to describe.
Let me assure
you that the United States remains committed to protecting and
promoting their well-being no matter how long their exile. My hope is that next year we will be able to report a decrease in
the number of refugees worldwide, as many of those now in
asylum are repatriated safely to their home countries.
I would now like to turn to the President's proposal for
refugee admissions in Fiscal Year 1991.
Historically, part of the American response to refugee
situations worldwide has been to offer resettlement
opportunities to a sizable number of refugees. Those who have been resettled in this country have a long tradition of bringing