WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government announced on Monday an initial contribution of over 171 million U.S. dollars toward the 2013 operations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
"This funding includes support for refugees returning to countries such as Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; local integration and resettlement; and protection and life-saving assistance," the State Department said in a written statement.
In details, the funding supports "the provision of water, shelter, food, healthcare, and education to refugees, internally displaced persons, and other persons under UNHCR's care and protection in countries such as Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Georgia, Colombia, South Sudan, and Kenya," the statement noted, adding that the contribution will allocate 82.9 million and 32.6 million dollars for Africa and the Middle East respectively.
The State Department said that the United States has given more than 775 million dollars in total to UNHCR in 2012, including 84 million dollars in response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis.
"We salute the important work of UNHCR, its many NGO partners, and refugee-hosting countries in providing protection to displaced populations around the world," the department said.