ISLAMABAD - US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson Thursday announced that the US government plans to contribute $8.9 million to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the joint government of Pakistan and UN Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) programme at a reception at the US Embassy on the eve of World Refugee Day.  RAHA is a key part of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) signed by UNHCR and the governments of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan in May 2012.

Ambassador Olson highlighted the US government’s support for Afghan refugees and Pakistani hosting communities. Since 1979, Pakistan generously has hosted a shifting population of Afghan refugees.

“The United States recognizes the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani people for generously hosting one of the world’s largest refugee populations for over three decades. Pakistan today hosts 1.6 million Afghan refugees,” said Ambassador Olson.

The US provides a new home for tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable refugees each year. In fiscal year (FY) 2013, the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration resettled nearly 70,000 refugees from 65 countries. The United States admits more refugees for permanent resettlement than all other nations combined.’