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$18 million for Afghan Refugees
Oregon Legislature approves the spending

During the December special session, the Oregon Legislature approved $18 million in funding through SB 5561 for Afghan refugee resettlement efforts.

This funding is intended to provide Afghan individuals and families resettling in Oregon with housing, education, legal aid, job training and other culturally responsive services.

The Oregon Department of Human Services’ (ODHS) Refugee Program administers federally funded cash and medical supports to refugees and individuals with eligible immigration statuses, and contracts with Resettlement Agencies (RAs) to provide initial resettlement services.

The United States is currently coordinating the relocation of more than 70,000 people following their evacuation from Afghanistan.

Afghan families began arriving in Oregon this fall, and the number of arrivals will increase in the coming months.

Oregon has committed to resettling 1,200 Afghan arrivals, but existing federal funding did not provide adequate support for these efforts.

This newly approved funding will allegedly address critical resource gaps in the state’s resettlement plan.

The Biden Administration has increased the number of refugees permitted to enter the United States, but funding and capacity have remained major issues.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Senator Kayse Jama (D-Portland) and Representative Khanh Pham (D-Portland) have called for a compassionate response to evacuated Afghan allies, urging the state to address the gaps and create a strong foundation for refugees’ future in Oregon.

“We know that Afghan families and individuals coming to Oregon have experienced trauma,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht.

The approved $18 million in funding will enable the department to meet the needs of Afghan arrivals while building back refugee resettlement infrastructure to accommodate the increase in arrivals from all around the world.

Funding includes allocations for the following: “The state of Oregon has really stepped up to meet the needs of individuals and families from Afghanistan,” said Claire Seguin, deputy director of ODHS Self- Sufficiency Programs and the state’s refugee coordinator. “We began this year with three partner resettlement agencies, and now we have five."

The program partners with Oregon’s five local refugee resettlement agencies (Catholic Charities, Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees, Salem for Refugees, and the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization).


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-12-16 21:42:56Last Update: 2021-12-16 22:04:07



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