March 2017

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“Getting it Right: Protection of South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda”

Uganda faces one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing refugee crises. The implosion of South Sudan has forced more than 1.5 million refugees to seek asylum in the region, with Uganda host to an estimated 700,000 of the refugees; 86 percent of them are women and children fleeing atrocities such as sexual violence. Thousands of South Sudanese continue to flee each day, and figures are likely to increase as famine has just been declared in parts of South Sudan. Uganda has an open-door policy which is serving as a model for refugee operations worldwide. Our latest report urges the international community to provide greater assistance to the South Sudanese refugees, in particular for gender-based violence prevention and response. Read the full report.

“Aid Inside Syria: Time to Go Small in a Bigger Way”

Earlier this month, we also released a report advocating for better support to the small but effective Syrian aid groups, which deliver much needed assistance to civilians in the war-torn country, accessing hard-hit communities within Syria that larger international aid organizations are unable to reach. Read the full report.


  • The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration recently announced it will fund projects to support Colombia’s conflict victims, including internally-displaced persons, affording them access to the national Victims' Registry and to reparations and other humanitarian support from the Colombian government. This is a direct result of RI’s December 2016 report and subsequent advocacy on women victims of Colombia's conflict. 
  • Following up on our April 2016 report focusing on work permits for Syrian refugees in Turkey, RI reported that as of early 2017, Turkey has issued approximately 13,000 work permits to Syrian refugees and offered citizenship to approximately 18,000.

RI responds to the Executive Orders on Refugees

Last month, the Trump administration released its latest Executive Order banning refugees from entering the United States. While the Order has since been blocked by a federal judge, we continue to speak out against any anti-refugee policy and will continue to demand that the United States stay true to its fundamental values and welcome all refugees. Read our statement.

EU-Turkey Anniversary

On March 18, the European Union and Turkey marked the one-year anniversary of their joint statement, which sought to stem the flow of asylum-seekers and migrants. While the EU touts the agreement as a success, Refugees International continues to monitor situation with great concern, given that the policy has left thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers stranded in Greece in shocking conditions and on the whole has eroded the right to seek asylum in Europe. Read our statement.

Haiti Following Hurricane Matthew: A Rough Road Ahead

An RI team was recently in Haiti to look at the efficacy of the response to Hurricane Matthew, the strongest hurricant to make landfall in Haiti in over a decade. Our team also investigated whether strategies are being implemented that take into account Haiti’s vulnerability to disasters and climate change in the longer term. Read the blog and view the photos from Haiti.

Advocates in Action

  • Dan Sullivan organized an RI roundtable discussion on the political situation and status of the Rohingya population in Myanmar with Naeem (aka Khin Maung Myint), a Rohingya leader and vice president of the National Democratic Party for Development in Myanmar. He was joined by Matthew Smith of Fortify Rights. 
  • RI President Michel Gabaudan gave a lecture at George Mason University on the global refugee crisis and the challenges it presents in the current international political context. 
  • Mark Yarnell gave a presentation on refugee advocacy in the current U.S. and global political environment for the "Conversations with Practitioners Series" at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Institute for the Study of International Migration. 
  • During the Sundance Film Festival, Alice Thomas attended a private lunch with Robert Redford, former Vice President Al Gore, and other filmmakers, artists, and experts, focused on the impacts of climate change. Alice detailed for the group how climate change affects vulnerable populations around the world.

RI in the News

  • RI President Michel Gabaudan discussed the humanitarian crises in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and northern Nigeria with Voice of America.
  • RI's recent report on South Sudanese refugees in Uganda is cited in this NPR story.
  • RI's recent report on South Sudanese refugees in Uganda is cited in this NPR story.
  • Alice Thomas is quoted in CNN in a story about an Alaskan village affected by climate change.
  • Francisca Vigaud-Walsh and Michael Boyce discussed their report on South Sudanese refugees with Voice of America's Upfront Africa program. 
  • Dan Sullivan is quoted in The Diplomat about what's next for the Rohingya in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
  • RI President Michel Gabaudan discussed funding cuts to the United Nations with InterPress Service

Join us for RI's 38th Anniversary Dinner

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 in Washington, D.C. 

Honoring the courageous work of Syria's White Helmets who will receive RI's highest humanitarian award

Presented by Her Majesty Queen Noor

We are pleased to announce that we will have two very special items available for auction: a $25,000 appliance shopping spree from Jenn-Air, with the first dinner using your new appliances cooked by Fiola Mare Executive Chef Brinn Sinnott, and a private dinner for thirty people at Fiola Mare! The auction will only be open to attendees of the 38th Anniversary Dinner.


For information about sponsorships, tickets,
and auction items, click here.

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