Refugee and Entrant Assistance_Discretionary Grants

To improve resettlement services for refugees.

Program objectives include: (1) decreasing the numbers of refugees on public assistance and the length of time refugees require such assistance; (2) promoting refugee family stability and healthy marriages; (3) encouraging the placement of refugees
in locations with good job opportunities and lower costs of living; (4) enhancing services to disadvantaged refugee groups; (5) promoting older refugees' access to aging services; (6) assisting low-income refugees with matching funds for individual development accounts and with financial literacy classes; 7) providing micro-credit to refugees interested in starting new businesses but unable to access commercial sources of capital; (8) providing services to refugees in rural areas; and (9) providing preventive health services.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

In fiscal year 2007, ORR provided funds for projects to: (1) provide vocational training, job search, and social services to help refugees obtain employment; (2) provide placement of refugees in preferred communities; (3) meet special needs of unanticipated arrivals; (4) meet the needs of refugees arriving in the US with special conditions such as positive HIV, trauma, physical and mental disabilities, and other health related problems; (5) provide microenterprise development services to refugees; (6) provide matching funds for individual development accounts (IDA) and funds for financial literacy training for low-income refugees; (7) provide support for ethnic community self-help organizations; (8) provide support for elderly programs; (9) provide funds to support refugee healthy marriage programs; and (10) provide services for refugees in rural areas.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Program Accomplishments

In FY 2007, 302 discretionary grants (new and continuations), were funded. FY 2008 est: contingent upon availability of funding, 304 discretionary grants will be funded; and in FY 2009, it is estimated that 307 discretionary grants will be funded.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds may be used only for the purposes set forth in the notice of funds availability and in the grant award.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Public and private nonprofit agencies.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Refugees, asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, Amerasians and certified victims of a severe form of trafficking.


Proof of immigration status must be provided to be eligible to receive services.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is covered under E.O.


"Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her state for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Applications are reviewed and evaluated pursuant to criteria specified in the program announcement. Each agency desiring to respond to a program announcement is required to submit an application. Program grant announcements may be accessed at or at the Office of Refugee Resettlement website at Application kits, containing the prescribed application forms and supplemental descriptive information, can also be accessed at the ORR website.

Award Procedures

The Director of ORR makes the funding decision on all grant awards.


Applicable deadlines are included in the notices of funds availability.


Refugee Act of 1980, Public Law 96-212, Section 412, 94 Stat. 111, 8 U.S.C. 1522, as amended; Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980, Title V, 94 Stat. 1809, as amended.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days.




Contingent upon funding availability, grantee performance, and the best interest of the government.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

There are no matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds made available under this program are for project periods ranging from 17 months to 5 years.

Post Assistance Requirements


Program Performance Reports and Financial Status Reports are required, usually on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

Final program and financial reports summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the project in relation to the approved goals and objectives are also required 90 days after the end of the project period.


Periodic audits are made as part of the system of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of grants and other agreements. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Nonprofit organizations receiving less than $25,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements, but records must be available for review by appropriate officials of the Federal grantor agency or subgranting entity.


Grant recipients are required to keep all financial, business, and program reports necessary for program review and audit for the project period and for three years after the end of the project period to insure that funds have been expended in accordance with the regulations, grant terms, and conditions of this program.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $72,413,000; FY 08 $76,884,000; FY 09 est $77,082,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

From a minimum of $50,000 per grant to the maximum of $19,000,000 based upon the type of funding and the services to be provided.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program announcements are published in the ACF and ORR website. All inquiries should be directed to the Information Contact listed below.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

For program information on Discretionary Targeted Assistance grants and Preventive Health grants, contact Pamela Green-Smith; Telephone: (202) 401-4531. For Discretionary Social Services grants, contact Ron Munia; Telephone: (202) 401-4559. Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 8th Floor West, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington DC 20447.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Notice of the criteria for awarding funds is published in the ACF website and the ORR website for each type of program announcement for discretionary programs. See the Information Contact section for more information.

Vertical farms are designed in a way to avoid the pressing issues about growing food crops in drought-and-disease-prone fields miles away from the population centers in which they will be consumed.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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