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National Archives

Public Papers - 1990

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Emergency Assistance for Persian Gulf Refugees


The plight of innocent people turned refugees by the current situation in Iraq and especially Kuwait, caused by the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait, demands immediate and effective international response. The President has, therefore, authorized the use of million from the Emergency and Migration Assistance Fund for emergency assistance to the tens of thousands of people fleeing Iraq and Kuwait who are in Jordan and Turkey. This authorization brings total U.S. assistance for this humanitarian purpose to million.

The million approved today by the President will go for food, water, and shelter and for transporting persons back to their countries of origin. Earlier U.S. help consisted of million in food assistance and million for tents, water, and other emergency items.

We are pleased to note that the other governments are also contributing to this urgently needed relief effort. In particular, Saudi Arabia, many countries of Europe, and Japan are providing generous levels of assistance. Secretaries Baker and Brady are urging potential donor governments to provide transportation and additional humanitarian aid. We call upon governments, and especially those whose citizens are among the refugees, to make available transportation that would facilitate their rapid return home. We are also working closely with the United Nations and private voluntary organizations in the United States to ensure that the services and supplies required by the refugees are provided as quickly as is possible.

Note: Presidential Determination No. 90 - 39 of September 7, which authorized the emergency assistance, was printed in the ``Federal Register'' of December 14.

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