Bush frees refugee funds for Somalia, Sri Lanka

WASHINGTON, Dec 15, 2006 (AFP) – US President George W. Bush has freed 5.215 million dollars in aid to help cope with refugee flows resulting from conflicts in Somalia and Sri Lanka, the White House announced Friday.

Bush directed US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a memorandum dated Thursday to make the money available “for the purpose of meeting unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs” stemming from the fighting.

“These funds may be used, as appropriate, to provide contributions to international, governmental and nongovernmental organizations and, as necessary, for administrative expenses of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration,” he said in the memorandum, which the White House made public.