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Assistant Secretary of State for PRM Eric Schwartz traveling to Iraq, Jordan and Syria:
Eric Schwartz, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration will travel to Iraq, Jordan and Syria from November 13 to November 19, according to a Department of State press release. Mr. Schwartz will meet with government officials, officials from the UN, international organizations and Iraqi and Palestinian refugees who have benefited from U.S. government-funded programs in the region.

‘Denial and Delay’ a HRF Report: Refugee Applications Denied Due To Strict Nature of U.S. Anti-terrorism Laws:
According to a Washington Post article, U.S. Anti-terrorism laws are applied so strictly that thousands of refugees fleeing persecution are having their applications denied or indefinitely delayed. Human Rights First released a study this week documenting cases where people have been labeled terrorists and denied entry to the U.S. Human Rights First profiled the cases of several refugees, including Iraqis who had served as interpreters for the U.S. Military. The report concluded that nearly 20,000 asylum-seekers and refugees have been affected since 2001.

World Food Programme Pilots Food Distribution by Text:
WFP in Syria piloted a new project this month, sending food vouchers by text to over 1000 Iraqi families (3,500 beneficiaries), according to IRIN. Each family receives vouchers worth $22 (U.S.) per person and vouchers are sent every two months. While each family still receives 50 percent of their rations through the traditional handout program, WFP believes that if this program is successful it could replace the usual program. To find out more about how these vouchers work, please click here


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