Issues Affecting Living Conditions

T-NSIAD-91-23: Published: Apr 18, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 1991.

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GAO discussed issues concerning the world's refugee population, focusing on: (1) U.S. contributions over the past decade to improve refugee conditions; and (2) living conditions. GAO noted that: (1) between 1980 and 1990, the United States contributed approximately $9.7 billion in cash and commodities for refugee assistance, with a third used for overseas efforts and two-thirds for the admission and resettlement of refugees in the United States; (2) funding shortages forced the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to sacrifice spending on sectors not necessary to sustain life, such as education and the search for longer-term solutions; (3) management and coordination of refugee programs varied widely; (4) refugee census figures were unreliable due to rapidly changing situations in refugee-producing countries; (5) U.S. contributions to UNHCR remained relatively stable in actual dollars over the past 10 years, but declined as a proportion of total donor contributions; (6) the United States remained the largest contributor to UNHCR; and (7) expenditures for admission and resettlement of refugees into the United States included processing refugee applications, cash, medical assistance, support services, and educational programs.

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