US approves aid for Africa, Palestinians

US President George W. Bush authorized the use of $29.5 million from the US Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) Fund toward conflict ridden areas in Somalia, Sudan, and Chad, and toward refugee food needs in other African countries, the West Bank and Gaza. The financial aid will include $10 million, which will be given to UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), as well as other relief operations in the West Bank and Gaza. Also, the drawdown will provide $7.6 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to increase assistance and protection activities in Darfur and Chad.