As President-Elect Biden unveils his new foreign policy team, the International Rescue Committee urges the incoming cabinet to direct urgent attention towards global COVID-19 relief, US diplomacy for peace in conflict zones, accountability for civilian harm and the restoration of the bipartisan refugee resettlement program.

David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said: “The world sorely needs American leadership in tackling the world’s worst humanitarian crises, so we warmly welcome the announcement by President-Elect Biden of a deeply experienced foreign policy team, and look forward to working with them when they take office.  The scale and nature of humanitarian crisis is wider and deeper than ever, so a new approach is needed.   The public service record of the new team suggests deep understanding of America’s place as humanitarian leaders, and this is needed more than ever.

“We understand the priority of beating COVID-19 at home, and urge that it be tackled globally as well. The IRC is calling on the new administration to allocate at least $20 billion in additional funding, especially towards frontline actors, to help fight COVID around the world. Urgent US diplomacy is also needed in the world’s toughest displacement and conflict zones, like Yemen, Ethiopia, and Syria - to bring warring parties to the negotiating table, end attacks on civilians and hospitals, and ensure accountability for those who breach the laws of war. In addition, the world’s low- and middle-income countries, hosting nearly 90% of the world’s refugees, urgently need support to address humanitarian needs, prevent further instability, and give displaced populations opportunities to thrive together with their hosts.

“Credible leadership overseas requires bold humanitarian leadership at home. The IRC welcomes the President-Elect’s ambitious commitment to welcome 125,000 refugees per year, after a record-low bar of 15,000 this year set by the Trump Administration. We also look to the new Administration to combine fair and effective asylum-processing in the US with strategic partnership with countries in Northern Central America and Mexico to promote stability and prosperity.”