New York, NY, May 9, 2023 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is thrilled to announce the launch of the Virtual Resettlement Line (VRL), borne from the successful Virtual Afghan Placement and Assistance Program (VAPA) and the Uniting for Ukraine Support Line (U4USL). This in-house initiative is a one-stop resource for any Afghan or Ukrainian humanitarian parolee who is struggling to access benefits or resources in their community. VRL is staffed by English, Ukrainian, Russian, Dari and Pashto speaking virtual navigators.
VAPA and U4USL, launched in March and June 2022, respectively, served newly arrived Afghans and Ukrainians. VAPA assured and provided virtual resettlement services to over 550 Afghan humanitarian parolees, and simultaneously supported over 5,000 Afghans who called the line for help with anything from school enrollment to food security. U4USL connected over 960 individuals to services, including 97 individuals to receive in-person resettlement services at local resettlement agencies. Both VAPA and U4USL demonstrated award-winning innovation in refugee resettlement which is a critical part of the U.S. government's continued efforts to rebuild the refugee admissions program.
VRL endeavors to continue this innovative practice of virtual support by bringing together the successful VAPA program and U4USL. Through the Virtual Resettlement Line, Afghans and Ukrainian humanitarian parolees will continue to receive assistance accessing resources and applicable resettlement benefits, including a streamlined referral process into initial resettlement services.
Emma Shah, Deputy Director, Virtual Resettlement Programs, said:
“Connection to resettlement programs makes all the difference for newly-arrived refugees in the United States. The new Virtual Resettlement Line (VRL) continues IRC’s commitment to innovation by building on the past success of VAPA and U4USL and continuing to offer a dedicated support line in multiple languages. Afghan and Ukrainian humanitarian parolees anywhere in the U.S. can easily and quickly be connected to life-changing resources and services.”
Any newly arrived Ukrainian humanitarian parolee or Afghan in the United States can access the Virtual Resettlement Line by calling +1 (212) 551-3010 or emailing [email protected], Monday-Friday 9am-5pm EST. If applicable, callers will be referred to in-person services at local resettlement agencies pending capacity and eligibility.
These Virtual Resettlement Line activities conducted under this agreement are paid for, in part, through financial assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).