IRC in the News
Kirk Day, the International Rescue Committee’s Europe representative, also attacked Austria’s new limits: “Introducing caps is not the right approach. Not only does restricting asylum seekers contravene international law and the Geneva refugee convention, it is a shortsighted policy and will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Europe,” he said. “Individual countries making arbitrary decisions about how many or who they welcome does not constitute a European policy.”
And while governments fail to devise a joint reaction, people get on with helping the refugees and migrants on a day-by-day basis.
Through local partners, the International Rescue Committee has documented 23 starvation-related deaths in Moadhamiya over the past three weeks, said Kevin Raabe, a deputy director of the aid group. Stocks of bulghur, wheat, rice and sugar are dwindling since government forces blocked the last road into town in December. Flour and infant formula have run out. Residents are using old wells to extract drinking water.
“It’s a very tiring way to live, or I guess survive,” said Ammar Ahmad, a resident who helps with local relief efforts.
The International Conference on Family Planning in Indonesia ended yesterday (28 January) with pledges from governments, development partners, young people, faith-based organisations and civil society groups to promote easy access to family planning services and products.
Danai Mahaja caught up with delegates at the conference, who highlighted the need to improve access to family planning for women and young people.
In 2014, I got my visa. When I landed in New York, I'd given up on cricket. But in class with the IRC - International Rescue Committee - they were teaching cultural orientation. They asked me what I like and I told them I liked to play cricket but thought nobody played cricket here. They said, "No, I think there are teams here and people play cricket", and they called [Edward]. He asks me what I can do. I tell him I can do everything - I can bowl, I can bat, I can field, I am a good wicketkeeper. In the evening he picked me up. He saw my bowling and asked if I wanted to play the next day. I said, "Really? Sure!"
He drove me to Oklahoma, and I got my first wicket off my second ball of the game. And I ended up with 40 runs or something. It was my first game. I fell in love with Wichita.
One million jobs are needed for refugees from Syria to improve their lives in neighbouring countries which have borne the brunt of the refugee crisis since the war started almost five years ago, the head of a major humanitarian relief agency said.
David Miliband, chief executive of the U.S.-based International Rescue Committee (IRC), said refugees have no savings left, are struggling to get aid and are increasingly unable to support themselves and their families.
This story of a Syrian family who sought refuge in the U.S. is “typical,” says Ruben Chandrasekar of the International Rescue Committee. “They want nothing more than safety, freedom, a welcoming environment and a fair shake.”
Secretary of State John Kerry agrees. Syrian refugees “come here looking for the possibility of a new life, and they want to contribute as good citizens to our country. And that is a tradition on which our country has been built.”
Welcoming refugees “strengthens our nation,” Kerry adds. Indeed, refugees have become groundbreaking physicists, award-winning musicians, members of Congress — and even secretaries of state.
At a seminar in Davos, Switzerland, sponsored by the Wilson Center, I interviewed David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, which oversees relief operations in more than 30 war-affected countries. He made several key points.
First, one in every 122 people on the planet today is “fleeing a conflict” at a time when wars between nations “are at a record low,” said Miliband, a former British foreign secretary. Why? Because we now have nearly 30 civil wars underway in weak states that are “unable to meet the basic needs of citizens or contain civil war.”
Second, he said, last year the rescue committee assisted 23 million refugees and internally displaced individuals. Some 50 percent of those going to Europe come directly out of Syria and most of the rest come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea — and the international humanitarian relief system “is now being overwhelmed by the numbers.”
Last year, within the E.U. bloc there were 56 million truck crossings between countries and every day 1.7 million crossings by people. Preserving that free movement of trucks, trade and people, Miliband added, is a huge “economic prize,” but it will not be sustained if E.U. countries feel swamped by refugees who can’t be properly registered or absorbed.
It’s a bleak January morning. Five a.m., cold and raining. Lorina Dulcey has been awake for an hour, listening to rain pelt the windows. But her brain has been busy going over school assignments in her head. Lorina is 50 and studying for her GED.
But studies come later for the single mother of one, an immigrant from Haiti, who says she knows how lucky she is. Arriving in Tallahassee in 2013, Dulcey lives in an apartment of her own; has a job she likes; and most of all, she believes she is finally on the way to becoming independent of others’ help. For Dulcey and those like her who have lived with uncertainty for years, predictability and a safe place of one’s own are everything.