The United States Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, on Friday said that his government spent over N1.2 trillion ($6 billion) on humanitarian assistance to different countries in 2014.
Kerry made the announcement in a message to mark this year’s World Refugee Day, scheduled for June 20.
The UN has set aside every June 20 as World Refugee Day, to honour those who flee violence and persecution and those who help them on their journey.
He, however, restated his government’s commitment to defending the rights of those affected by violence and oppression. “It’s almost unfathomable that nearly 60 million men, women and children are now displaced inside and outside of their countries.
“For those scattered by violence and oppression, the US is and will remain their most fervent defender. I am proud that US humanitarian assistance exceeded $6 billion dollars last year,” Kerry said.
According to him, the US is the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid, and resettles more refugees than any other nation.
Kerry said that his government strongly believed that those who have been “uprooted’’ deserve more than food, shelter, and medical care.
The US secretary said that, “they deserve dignity and respect and the opportunity to build a better future”.
“We have seen haunting images of Syrian families fleeing indiscriminate barrel bombings and young children rescued at sea, after days without food.
“Refugees remain in exile for an average of 17 years. Some are born and grow up in camps and never get to leave them.
“We have a duty to the millions stranded away from home, not just to preserve life, but to safeguard hope,” he added.
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