65 million displaced people, the most since World War II, require more than “aid as usual”. Their growing and increasingly complex needs mandate a transformation in the global humanitarian response. Drawing on over 80 years of experience responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, and from the very best knowledge and research, the IRC works not only to make our own humanitarian programmes as effective as possible, but also to improve the impact of the sector as a whole.
As well as conducting policy and advocacy work on major crises such as Syria and Iraq, we have a strategic focus on a number of cross-cutting themes.
Our priorities include:
- The Refugee Crisis in Europe: The International Rescue Committee is working to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the refugees in Europe are met and that they have access to protection. In addition, we are advocating for Europe to collectively address the global refugee crisis by establishing safe and legal routes, including a structured process for resettling refugees and investing in more and better aid to countries hosting refugees elsewhere in the world.
- Urban Crises and Displacement: More than 60 percent of the world’s refugees now live in towns and cities, and not in refugee camps. The International Rescue Committee is leading the way in finding better approaches to supporting the urban displaced to rebuild their lives and we advocate for donors to adapt to this new reality.
- Women's Protection and Empowerment: Violence against women and girls is endemic in areas affected by conflict and disaster. If women and girls are not protected and empowered, they will struggle to improve their lives. The International Rescue Committee helps survivors of gender-based violence to heal and thrive, and works with communities and institutions to break the cycle of violence. We advocate for increased donor action to ensure that women and girls can access the support they need.
- Cash Relief: We provide temporary cash relief to refugee families whose lives and livelihoods have been shattered by conflict and disaster, allowing them to regain control of their lives and make decisions for themselves. We advocate for much more aid to be given in the form of cash.
We work to shape European humanitarian policy and programmes, to ensure they are effective and solutions-based, by:
- Generating evidence-based ideas for humanitarian policy and programming, with a particular focus on the refugee crisis in Europe, urban refugees, cash relief and women’s protection and empowerment, and working with donors and governments to encourage them to adopt these solutions.
- Sharing our knowledge and research from the some 40 countries we work in with decision-makers across Europe. This way we can ensure that humanitarian policy and practice is as effective as possible, and based on the very best solutions.