Phoenix Council OKs $3M in coronavirus funds for refugees

May 20, 2020 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix City Council has approved $3 million in federal relief funds for area refugees caught up in the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic after being settled here with U.S. government approval.

Council members Tuesday approved Mayor Kate Gallego’s proposal for the funding to help people who came to the U.S. fleeing violence or persecution in their countries of birth only to lose their new jobs in food service, hospitality and other industries disproportionately affected by the virus outbreak.

U.S. lawmakers added $350 million to the State Department’s budget for migration and refugee assistance in coronavirus aid approved earlier this year,

Refugee resettlement was temporarily halted in March because of the pandemic. But before then, a little over 7,000 refugees had been allowed into the U.S. so far this year, including 440 to Arizona, the bulk of them in Phoenix and surrounding communities.