This past Friday, RCSE was fortunate to hear from Foreign Service Officer Jameson DeBose.  Before he began his presentation, President Laura Lane McKinnon reminded everyone to please pay their Q1 dues if they have not already done so.  Once all Rotary business items were discussed, Mr. DeBose began his presentation.  
Mr. DeBose is a spokesman for the Department of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) which is the humanitarian bureau of the State Department.  The PRM works with the UN as well as several other international organizations.  The USA is the largest monetary donor to humanitarian projects and therefore, we play a huge role in ensuring that people in need are receiving some help and/or relief.  Mr. DeBose then touched on five major humanitarian crises around the globe: Syria, Yemen, Southeast Asia, Venezuela, and Sub-Saharan Africa.  He said in Syria, 12 million people have been displaced and the USA has contributed $11 billion to help them.  Yemen is considered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world because 80% of the Yemen population needs humanitarian assistance.  Currently, the USA (through private corporations, citizens and the government) has donated $4.9 billion to humanitarian organizations to help with COVID-19.  
2020 was the 40th Anniversary of the Refugee Act which spelled out how we as a country were going to help others in need.  Mr. DeBose said this was necessary because we needed a permanent approach as to handle humanitarian crises.  Not only does the money we donate help with building camps, but it also assists in helping refugees find work, helping children go to school, and in helping address the root of the problem because people want to be able to be at home.  A refugee is defined as someone who fears persecution or the threat of persecution.  Over the past 3 years, the USA government has increased their budget to help in these endeavors from an average of $7 billion a year to now over $9 billion a year.  While the financing has increased, the number of refugees who are granted admission to our country has decreased from 45,000 individuals in 2018 to only 18,000 individuals in 2020.  He said the decrease in admissions is because the current administration is very focused on keeping the security of USA citizens a top priority.  He also said because admissions are down, finances have gone up in order to help refugees abroad.  If you would like to learn more about how the State Department is helping with humanitarian crises around the world, please visit