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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Houston, Texas)
For Immediate Release                                       June 2, 1998


               President Clinton Authorizes $37 Million for 
           Humanitarian Emergencies in Africa and Southeast Asia

The President has authorized $37 million to meet the urgent and unexpected needs of refugees and other persons at risk in Africa and Asia.

In a determination signed on May 29, the President directed that monies be drawn from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund (ERMA) to meet urgent humanitarian needs in Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Great Lakes Region of Africa, the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia.

In Sierra Leone, hundreds of thousands are at risk as a result of insurgent attacks against civilians, and U.S. aid will support feeding, shelter and emergency medical assistance. In Liberia and Rwanda, ERMA funds will facilitate repatriation and reintegration of returning refugees seeking to reestablish their lives in these post-conflict societies. In Southeast Asia, where the economic downturn has resulted in population movements and pressure against undocumented workers, U.S. assistance will support emergency protection and assistance for migrants in the region. ERMA funds will also support assistance to Cambodian refugees in Thailand.

The assistance will be channeled through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Program, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Non-Governmental Organizations.

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