IRC in the News
Christian groups that work with refugees are strongly opposed to a proposal that would in effect put Iraqi and Syrian Christians ahead of Muslims for resettlement in the U.S., even if they are also victims of persecution.
David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said it was "very, very important" that refugee status be based on need and a non-discriminatory process.
Thousands of Burundian refugees risk unwanted pregnancies, dangerous deliveries and unsafe abortions when they move next week to camps without reproductive health services, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said.
Some 50,000 Burundian refugees will be moved out of Tanzania's Nyarugusu refugee camp, the third largest in the world, to ease overcrowding over the next three months. They will move to two new camps, Nduta and Mtembeli, which are around 100 km (60 miles) north of the current camp - and 30 km from the nearest hospital.
The Nduta refugee camp in Tanzania has been empty for nearly seven years, but that is set to change next week, when the camp will reopen and welcome thousands of people from Burundi who have fled political violence in recent months.
While the new camp opening will relieve overstretched facilities and resources, the International Rescue Committee has raised a concern of its own. According to the humanitarian organization, the relocated women will have reduced access to reproductive healthcare services and family planning, and will be located nearly 20 miles away from the nearest facility capable of delivering a baby.
"What will happen to them if they have nowhere to go? They need access to reproductive healthcare for well-being, control, and especially survival in times of crisis," said Elijah Okeyo, IRC's country director in Tanzania. "Access to reproductive health care is not only critical to women's survival in a crisis, it is a non-negotiable requisite in any humanitarian response."
Women living in the world's third-largest refugee camp are at risk of losing their access to contraception and prenatal care in just a few weeks if nothing is done, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) warns.
More than 93,000 refugees have fled civil unrest and violence in Burundi and are living in Tanzania’s Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, according to the IRC. On average, 200 asylum seekers per week have arrived at the camp. This increase in people fleeing Burundi has vaulted Nyarugusu "from the ninth to the third-largest refugee camp in just four months," according to the IRC.
Students at Friends Meeting School raced down the hall at the end of the school day Wednesday, periodically dropping pinwheels into a box near the school’s entrance.
To the students of the Ijamsville-based Quaker school, the pinwheels meant money – money that could help a child in Syria.
A school-wide fundraiser has been launched to benefit Syrian refugee children, the victims of a civil war that has plagued the western Asian country. Many Syrians have been killed, but these children are fleeing the country to escape the conflict.
The Friends Meeting School campaign partners with an effort by Students Rebuild, a national organization managed by the Bezos Family Foundation. For every pinwheel fashioned by students across the country, the foundation will donate $2 — up to $400,000 — to the International Rescue Committee, said Friends Meeting School’s Charlotte Murphy, a teacher and coordinator of students in pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade.
The IRC, a humanitarian organization, develops “healing classrooms” that provide the youth refugees some normalcy, Murphy said.
Tania Lee self identifies as a “ICT4D practitioner.” In other words, she works with information communication technology for development (ICT4D). The 33-year-old from Adams Morgan is an SMS and Web Product Manager for Caktus Group, a technology firm that builds custom web solutions with a focus on positive social impact.
Lee never thought she’d end up in up in tech, but eventually ended up working for the International Rescue Committee. Before she left that position, Lee served as the project manager for a commodity tracking system that helped send and track medical supplies in Syria right after the war started.
Former UK Foreign Secretary and International Rescue Committee president David Miliband criticises the United States for not accepting more Syrian refugees, saying it is "not fitting" of its "global leadership role". He says the US should resettle more Syrian refugees.
Historically, the U.S. has been on the forefront of providing a sanctuary to refugees, annually resettling more than 50 percent of all refugees resettled in the world. This year 70,000 refugees have been accepted and resettled in our nation, adding to the rich fabric of our communities and allowing stateless families and individuals to once again have hope, dignity and an opportunity to thrive.