Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Friend ERMA

United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund was authorized by President Obama after one week in office to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza. Federal Register, January 27, 2009"

Big Gay Al wonders how he missed it on the national news. Yeah, I wonder. Obviously, someone had that ready for his desk before he took his hand off the Bible.

So I went over to the ERMA website to see what else was going on, and why this was such a rush job.
    Of the $20.3 million in new ERMA funds, $13.5 million will go to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), $6 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and $800,000 to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). . .

    Today’s [January 30] contribution to UNRWA augments the $85 million the United States contributed in December 2008 toward UNRWA’s 2009 appeals. Of that amount, $25 million supported UNRWA emergency operations in West Bank and Gaza. The remaining $60 million supported UNRWA’s services for 4.6 million Palestinian refugees in the region, including Gaza. . .

    Furthermore, today’s contribution to ICRC complements the $9.7 million the United States provided earlier this month for ICRC’s activities for victims of conflict in the Middle East, with particular attention to its critical programs in Gaza. . . In addition to our contributions to UNRWA, ICRC, and OCHO, to date, USAID has provided more than $3.7 million for emergency assistance to Gaza."
And does the US give Israel a lot. Oh yes. Billions. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. However, when I tried to find a reliable source, all I found was hate Israel pro-Palestine sites (well, the first 20 or so). As with most problems in the middle east, it depends on your politics. Maybe the press didn't mention it because Bush gave more in December and they didn't want Obama to look like a piker?

No comments: