Crisis Watch: Urban Refugees
Today, almost half the world's refugees live in cities. Refugees and displaced people move to the city in the hope of finding a sense of community, safety and economic independence. However, in reality, what many actually find are harsh living conditions, lack of security and poverty.
How We Help
Among the IRC's programs on behalf of urban refugees:
- We provide emergency assistance to Syrians who have fled a brutal civil war and are living a precarious existence as refugees in towns and cities in neighboring Jordan and Lebanon. This support includes cash assistance, counseling for survivors of violence, and free health care and prescriptions.
- We help Somalis and other urban refugees in Kenya navigate a unique set of challenges, from unsafe housing to police harassment. They often have difficulty obtaining necessary documentation to apply properly for jobs. We also advocate for government and other authorities to protect this vulnerable population.
- The IRC provides housing, job placement and employment skills, clothing, medical attention, education, English-language classes, community orientation and other support for resettled refugees during their pivotal first months in the United States.
- We draw attention to the plight of urban refugees through the touring exhibition and website Hidden Lives: The Untold Story of Urban Refugees, and such reports as In Search of Survival and Sanctuary in the City, and Hidden and Exposed: Urban Refugees in Nairobi, Kenya.