Refugees International expresses its outrage and deeply sadness with the news that seven members of the Syrian Civil Defense (the White Helmets) were killed in a recent attack. The White Helmets are an extraordinary humanitarian organization that provides a beacon of hope for Syrians caught up in the brutal conflict.
Over the past week, hundreds of Syrian refugees have left the Aarsal region of Lebanon for Idlib governorate in northern Syria, and thousands more are expected to follow. So far, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross/Crescent have not been able to confirm the voluntary nature of the returns or monitor what has happened to the refugees upon arrival in Syria.
As President Trump welcomes Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to Washington, DC, the situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon must be a prominent and urgent point on their discussion agenda – and we urge that both leaders affirm a commitment to respect the rights of Syrian refugees.
On July 18, 2017, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development and Multilateral Institutions at a hearing, titled, "The Four Famines: Root Causes and a Multilateral Action Plan." In his testimony, Schwartz focused on the factors leading to famine conditions in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria.
As the Administration considers reorganization of the government, more than 40 former U.S. diplomats and national security officials who have served in Republican and Democratic administrations along with 18 humanitarian organization leaders called on the Trump administration to affirm the key role of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The letter was delivered to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson yesterday, with copies sent to leadership on Capitol Hill.
We write on behalf of 10 non-governmental organizations with experience and expertise on the ongoing crisis in Syria regarding your upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 meeting in Hamburg on July 7-8, 2017. During your meeting, we ask that you address the gross violation of humanitarian norms that has characterized the violence in Syria, a conflict which now has killed and displaced millions of civilians, creating the largest flow of refugees since the Second World War.
Refugees International is deeply disappointed by the decision of Supreme Court to permit imposition of most elements of the Executive Order imposing a ban on entry into the United States by travelers from six Muslim majority nations and imposing a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee resettlement program pending the Court’s consideration of this issue.
At the upcoming European Council meeting in Brussels on June 22 and 23, 2017, European Union leaders will discuss the Central Mediterranean migration route and, as per the meeting’s agenda, will “assess the implementation of measures taken to stem the migration flow” on that route. Refugees International urges EU leaders to put the rights of refugees and migrants above political considerations currently driving Europe’s actions in the Central Mediterranean
We, the undersigned humanitarian and development non-governmental organizations and partners, share a commitment to alleviating human suffering to make the world a more peaceful, just, democratic, and prosperous place. As organizations working in the development and humanitarian space in nearly every country on the planet, we represent American citizens’ instinct to make a positive difference in the lives of the world’s poorest and most marginalized people. Therefore, in the context of ongoing discussions about foreign assistance reform, our focus is on the impact any reforms will have on people whose lives are affected by our programming.
Refugees International is alarmed by the devastating cuts proposed by President Trump’s more detailed FY18 budget request to Congress. The administration proposal is not about better aid accountability or reaching vulnerable populations more effectively. Simply put, this budget would cripple humanitarian response at a time when the global community is facing crises unparalleled in modern times.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today had the unenviable task of putting lipstick on a pig, suggesting that a foreign aid budget request with draconian cuts represents responsible stewardship of U.S. foreign policy. The Secretary justified the cuts with an argument about limitations on resources – an argument that is simply inaccurate. Today and previously, the Secretary of State suggested that the current rate of spending for foreign aid is simply not sustainable.
Refugees International (RI) announced today that Eric P. Schwartz has joined the organization as its president.
Refugees International mourns the passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, a champion of efforts to promote sexual and reproductive rights. It is both critical and extremely difficult to guarantee these rights in situations of humanitarian crisis, and Dr. Osotimehin recognized this important challenge.