Refugee Program:

Status of Early Employment Demonstration Projects

NSIAD-88-91: Published: Feb 3, 1988. Publicly Released: Feb 3, 1988.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO evaluated the Department of State's and the Department Health and Human Services' (HHS) funding of refugee reception and placement program demonstration projects to determine: (1) how the projects reduced refugee welfare dependency; (2) the results of the projects; and (3) the status of the approval process for additional projects.

GAO found that: (1) records of the results of the three projects it reviewed were varied and incomplete; (2) in Oregon, officials reached their projected goal of placing 25 percent of employable refugees within 6 months of their arrival; (3) although only 47 percent of the employable refugees in Illinois found jobs within 6 months, more refugees found work and the number on welfare declined from the year prior to the project's inception; and (4) there were continued debates over the objectives, roles, and responsibilities of participants in the projects. GAO also found that: (1) State does not plan to continue funding new projects; (2) HHS did not provide additional funds to implement alternative refugee programs; and (3) since June 1985, HHS has disapproved 11 project proposals because they did not meet its criteria.

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