U.S. Gives $126.8 Million to U.N. Refugee Agency Despite Cuts in Foreign Aid

The United States announced on Friday that it was giving $126.8 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) despite making $377 million in cuts to various other U.N. payments as part of the $38 billion reductions for the 2011 budget.

The funding comes from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and will support the panel's programs, which helps refugees return to places such as Afghanistan and Sudan, and provide them with basic needs, like water, food, health care and education.

Of that amount, nearly $50 million will go to the Middle East, $40 million to Africa and $23 million to Asia. The U.S. has provided more than $285 million to the agency this year.

The latest contribution comes on the heels of news that the U.S., the top contributor to the U.N., overpaid its share of the U.N. peacekeeping budget for 2010-2011. The peacekeeping savings, including the overpayments, amount to $286.7 million -- more than three-quarters of the $377 million in U.N. cuts.

But that pales in comparison to the $6.35 billion that the U.S.sent to the U.N. in 2009, according to the latest available data compiled by the Obama administration.