U.S. Overseas Assistance

The U.S. government provides funds to help meet the critical needs of refugees in camps, urban areas, and other settlements around the world. This funding is provided through the Migration and Refugee Assistance account (MRA) and the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance account (ERMA) administered by the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The majority of these funds support the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which channels much of its funding to many nongovernmental relief organizations. UNHCR estimates that there are roughly 16 million refugees spread across the world.

The U.S. government also provides life-saving assistance to persons who are forced to flee their homes but have not yet crossed an international border. They are known as "internally displaced persons" and currently total some 29 million persons. Such assistance is generally provided through the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) via the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account, but occasionally through PRM as well.