On Friday, April 13, 2018, international donors will gather in Geneva on Friday for a Humanitarian Conference on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The conference is a crucial opportunity to focus global attention on the estimated 13.1 million Congolese citizens who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and protection. In this statement, Refugees International urges urgent action to establish humanitarian assistance for the affected Congolese civilians.
On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold the nomination hearing for Secretary of State nominee Michael Pompeo. In advance of that hearing, Refugees International sent a letter to Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Ranking Member Robert Menendez urging that they and other Members of the Committee ensure that the nominee address critical concerns regarding the nominees views and approaches to refugee policies.
In this statement, Refugees International expresses its dismay at the sudden announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel the April 2 agreement between Israel and UNHCR regarding Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. RI welcomed the agreement which would have allowed refugee resettlement opportunities in Western countries for more than 16,000 African asylum seekers and would have provided temporary status inside Israel for another 16,000 within this vulnerable population.
More than 110 CEOs of nongovernmental organizations announced a pledge today that commits to prevent sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment of NGO staff and the communities they serve. The pledge represents a public commitment to practices and policies that will not only protect the staff of the participating organizations but also the communities they serve.
As President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman tomorrow, Refugees International calls upon the president to press for an end to the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. In the absence of Saudi Arabia taking swift and concrete measures to protect and assist Yemeni civilians, President Trump should make clear that the United States will not continue to support a war that endangers the lives of millions.
Last week, the war in Syria marked a gruesome anniversary, with the nature and scope of the humanitarian tragedy continuing to defy description. The past year witnessed the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrians. The regime in Damascus and its allies continued to strike hospitals and other civilian targets. The war crimes now continue in the siege of Eastern Ghouta. In this statement, Refugees International calls on the United States and international community to take immediate action to end this years-old crisis.
On March 14, 2018, RI Senior Advocate Mark Yarnell testified before a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on "Somalia’s Current Security and Stability Status." Hosted by the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, the hearing examined the security and humanitarian conditions in Somalia following the near famine in 2017.
As U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson embarks on a multi-nation trip to sub-Saharan Africa, Refugees International delivered a letter to the secretary urging the Trump administration to use this critical opportunity to reaffirm U.S. humanitarian support, while advocating for policies that promote the safety, dignity, and rights of refugees and displaced populations in the sub-Saharan region. In the letter, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz underlines the urgent challenges in Nigeria and Kenya in particular, stating that swift action is needed by the U.S. administration to address ongoing humanitarian and displacement crises in those nations.
We are writing to you as human rights, health, and development organizations to raise our deep concern about news that the State Department’s annual Human Rights Report will no longer highlight the full range of abuses and human rights violations experienced most especially by women, girls, LGBTQI people, and other marginalized peoples around the world. According to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, officials “will sharpen the focus of the report on abuses of internationally recognized human rights and the most egregious issues.”
Refugees International condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack over the weekend on Eastern Ghouta by the Assad regime in direct contravention of Saturday’s unanimous UN Security Council resolution 2401 calling for an immediate nationwide ceasefire. That attack coupled ground forces with air bombardment, reportedly including the use of chemical weapons.