Congressmen Hastings and Dingell, along with Congressman Shays, recently introduced the Iraqi Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement, and Security Act (H.R. 6496), a long-term comprehensive strategy to address the humanitarian and security crisis in Iraq and the region.
Specifically, H.R. 6496 supports a multi-year, comprehensive plan to address the deepening crisis facing Iraqi refugees, displaced persons and other vulnerable Iraqis by doing the following:
- Authorizing $700 million for each of the fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011 for the relief of Iraqi refugees, internally displaced persons, and other vulnerable Iraqis;
- Increasing direct accountable bilateral assistance, as appropriate under U.S. law, and funding for international organizations and NGOs working in the region;
- Authorizing $500 million to increase infrastructure support for Jordan to help meet the needs of 100,000s of Iraqi refugees;
- Providing technical assistance to grow the capacity of Iraqi government agencies responding to humanitarian needs inside Iraq;
- Increasing Iraqi refugees admissions to the United States by 20,000 for FY 2009, 2010 and 2011, and requires improvements in the efficiency of the resettlement application process;
- Establishing a Special Coordinator for Iraqi Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons within the Executive Office of the President to ensure expeditious and effective implementation of the overall strategy; and
- Urging increased cooperation between the United States government and the international community to address this crisis.