Who we are
The IRC in Europe
The International Rescue Committee is on the ground across Europe working with governments, municipalities and local organizations to meet the immediate and critical needs of those seeking refuge, and to support the effective integration of refugees into their new communities.
The IRC has offices in Berlin and Bonn, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; Geneva, Switzerland and London, United Kingdom; and—in partnership with the Netherlands Refugee Foundation—also has a presence in the Hague. The IRC’s European programs are run out of Athens, Greece as well Belgrade, Serbia and Berlin and Bonn.
The International Rescue Committee UK acts as the IRC’s hub in Europe with a mission to raise profile, deliver policy and practice change, and significantly increase funding to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and reclaim control of their future.
In the UK, the International Rescue Committee is governed by a board of trustees—led by the chair, Sir John Holmes GCVO, KBE, CMG—who have volunteered their time to support us in our mission to help people affected by natural disaster and conflict.
Through IRC Germany, the IRC works behind the scenes to strengthen German partners as they help refugees rebuild their lives. We’re sharing with them our 80+ years of experience in assisting refugees and other people seeking asylum, which includes more than four decades of work in refugee resettlement and integration. Read about our work in Germany.
Stichting Vluchteling (SV), the Netherlands Refugee Foundation, and the IRC have a similar history, rooted in the resistance to Nazi persecution leading up to and during World War II. The first United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart, and the first UNHCR representative in The Netherlands, Kees Brouwer, both highly decorated resistance workers, laid the foundation of SV. SV works across the globe to assist refugees and displaced people and has been working closely with the IRC for over 30 years.
In 2015 the partnership was strengthened through a Cooperative Agreement making the IRC into SV’s sole implementing partner, enabling both organizations to provide better and faster aid to refugees and displaced people across the globe. In the Netherlands, SV raises and receives funds from governmental institutions, the Dutch Post Code Lottery, companies and private and family contributors. Its constituency consists of some 140,000 private donors. SV also calls for attention for the plight of refugees in crisis situations, by generating media coverage and by presenting its message through digital channels and at festivals and events.