Success Stories

the impact of our work across the globe.


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Continued support for the world's most vulnerable people

Despite the U.S. Administration’s calls for drastic cuts in the 2018 budget for assistance and humanitarian response for the world’s most vulnerable people, the House and Senate rejected the Administration’s cuts and continued to support these lifesaving programs. RI was on the front lines of this effort.



Famine response

RI successfully campaigned for an additional $990 million in emergency U.S. government funding targeting the famine response in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, and South Sudan.



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Accreditation for Syrian doctors in Turkey

In the summer of 2017, Turkey began accrediting Syrian doctors and hiring them to work in its migrant health centers where most Syrians go to seek medical care. This change follows years of RI advocacy calling for Turkish accreditation of Syrian medical professionals.


Medical care for Rohingya refugees in Malaysia

As of May 2017, partners on the ground told RI that the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Malaysia has been improving its referral system of Rohingya refugees in urgent need of medical care, ensuring that the most vulnerable cases are seen by medical professionals. This was a key recommendation in RI’s November 2016 report on Rohingya refugees in Malaysia. 


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Support for non-Syrian refugees in Turkey

In March 2017, the State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration announced to NGOs seeking funding for activities in Turkey that only projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50 percent non-Syrian refugees, including Afghans and Iraqis, would be considered. Support for non-Syrian refugees in Turkey were key recommendations of RI’s February 2017 report, "Except God, We Have No One”: Lack Of Durable Solutions For Non-Syrian Refugees In Turkey.



Reparations for victims of Colombia's conflict

In March 2017, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration announced that 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. 


Additional aid to Nigerians suffering food shortages

In January 2017, the United States announced an additional $92 million in humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and severe food insecurity in Nigeria. This was a key recommendation from RI's 2016 report, "Nigeria’s Displaced Women And Girls: Humanitarian Community At Odds, Boko Haram’s Survivors Forsaken."


Humanitarian funding to drought-stricken Zimbabwe

In August 2016, RI highlighted that Zimbabwe was woefully unprepared for a potential famine during the upcoming winter dry season. Soon after we released our report, the United States and other donor governments announced an addition $54.5 million in humanitarian funding to help the country through its ongoing drought. 


  Photo credit: Patrick Breslin.

Photo credit: Patrick Breslin.

Assistance to displaced families in eastern Ukraine

In May 2016, the U.S. government announced an additional $28 million in humanitarian funding for Ukraine. The money will support organizations that provide assistance to displaced families in eastern Ukraine, something which RI called for in our October 2015 report and subsequent advocacy.


Support to conflict-affected Iraqis

In April 2016, the United States provided nearly $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance to aid conflict-affected Iraqis displaces within the country. As recommended by RI in our November 2015 report, this humanitarian assistance focused on areas in southern and central Iraq—and included badly needed food assistance.



Education, health and freedom of movement for the Rohingya

The U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration released funding in March 2016 to assist the persecuted Rohingya community from Myanmar to support education, health and freedom of movement of Rohingya populations—all areas advocated by RI in our 2015 report. 


Work permits for Syrian refugees in Turkey

RI undertook a special mission to investigate the rights of Syrian refugees to access the labor market in Turkey. Our advocacy contributed to the decisions of the Turkish government to approve work permits for thousands of Syrian refugees since January 2016.



Sounding the alarm about refugee recruitment in Rwanda

In December 2015, our RI team helped uncover a secret government-supported campaign in Rwanda to arm refugees—including children—in violation of international law. We shared this information with U.S. officials and with the public. We rallied the necessary support in Congress and in the Obama administration to levy sanctions against those responsible. And while we remain vigilant, reports of this illegal recruitment have dropped significantly, allowing refugees to live in security. 



Support to internally displaced Burundians

After RI’s report on unmet and hidden displacement in Burundi was released in November 2015, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs began to work on a Humanitarian Response Plan for Burundi—a first step towards increasing humanitarian presence and assistance as recommended by RI’s Burundi report. Following RI advocacy in Brussels, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civilian Protection Department (ECHO) pledged €5 million in aid for the Burundi crisis - including, for the first time, "humanitarian protection activities inside Burundi." Prior EU aid packages had only benefited Burundian refugees in neighboring countries.


Lifesaving aid for Sudanese refugees in Chad

The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) announced in July 2015 an additional $6 million to fund lifesaving aid for Sudanese refugees in Chad. This was a key recommendation from RI’s July report “Sudanese Refugees in Chad: Passing the Baton to No One.”



Support to Syrian refugees

In March 2015, the U.S. Government pledged $508 million at the Kuwait Donor conference for the Syria crisis. Key recommendations from RI reports were included in the announcement, including continued focus on host community support and a shift into more development assistance. 



Aid to Neglected Congolese

In May 2014, RI found that humanitarian assistance in DRC's Katanga province was woefully inadequate, and called on the UN to send more aid to this neglected area. In its 2015 response plan, the UN allocated almost 20 percent of its humanitarian funding to Katanga - the second-largest provincial allocation.


Support to Local Communities Hosting Syrian Refugees

Since January 2014, RI has urged the U.S. government to support development projects that assist local communities who host Syrian refugees. In October 2014, the U.S. State Department released $10 million to the UN Development Program for precisely that purpose. 


Assistance to the Central African Republic

In June 2014, the U.S. government announced nearly $51 million in additional humanitarian support to displaced people in Central African Republic and refugees in neighboring countries. This came after an RI report in April highlighted the huge gaps in humanitarian funding for the CAR crisis. 


Long-term solutions for displaced Filippinos

Thanks in part to RI's field report and vocal advocacy, thousands of displaced ethnic minority Muslims in the Philippines' city of Zamboanga received improved assistance and were allowed by the government to return to their home areas, as RI requested in our reports .


Support for Syrians in Egypt

In July 2014, the UN Refugee Agency designated additional funding for Syrian refugee operations in Egypt, a move supported by RI after its mission to the country in April.


Democratic Republic of Congo: Treat Every Camp Equally

In 2013, RI found that the UN was not assisting at least 200,000 displaced Congolese because they lived in so-called “spontaneous sites,” rather than official camps. Following RI’s request, the UN revamped its approach to camp management and pledged to assist all Congolese IDPs on the basis of need rather than the status of their camp.


Central African Republic: Help for Women in Crisis

After learning that the UN Population Fund was failing to provide post-rape kits in Central African Republic in early 2014, RI and its partners raised this problem with a senior UN official. RI explained that women were arriving at clinics in the hope of preventing sexually-transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy, but treatment was not available. Shortly after this meeting, a large stock of kits arrived in country.


A Safety Net for People Displaced by Disasters

RI’s advocacy was instrumental in convincing the U.S. government to support the Nansen Initiative, which seeks solutions for people who flee their countries as a result of climate-related disasters and are not protected by the 1951 Refugee Convention. RI is also advising in the development of guidelines to better protect and assist these populations.


Central African Republic: Preparing for the Peacekeepers

As violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) escalated in late 2013, RI urged the U.S. to be prepared for an eventual deployment of a new UN peacekeeping mission. To that end, RI and the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping pressed U.S. officials to set aside funds in their budget planning for such an operation. In the March 4 release of his Fiscal Year 2015 budget, President Barack Obama proposed a new $150 million funding mechanism that, if approved, could help support a UN mission in CAR.


Syria: Getting Non-Camp Refugees the Aid They Need

RI has consistently recommended more support for services that assist Syrian refugees outside of camps. Even as many large aid agencies and non-governmental organizations established programming in camps, RI repeatedly noted the lack of support for those living outside of them and requested that donors and service providers pay more attention to this enormous population. Finally, as part of its 2014 regional response plan for Syria, the UN Refugee Agency announced that it would specifically focus more of its efforts on non-camp refugees in the region.


Israel: Accepting African Asylum Seekers

RI spoke with Israeli officials in late 2013 about their failure to recognize Eritreans as refugees, and offered suggestions for improvement. In February 2014, Israel granted asylum to a small number of Eritreans for the first time. RI calls on Israel to accept and evaluate all asylum claims consistent with international law.


Internally Displaced People: A Commitment to Protect

RI played a leading role in encouraging the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to focus on internally displaced people during its December 2013 Protection Dialogue. RI also helped to shape the NGO community’s position for the Dialogue, and ensured that UNHCR made specific and tangible commitments. RI is working with both UNHCR and the U.S. State Department to see that those commitments are met.


Syria: More Protection for Women and Girls

RI was the first NGO to raise the alarm about a lack of programs to address and prevent gender-based violence among displaced Syrians. In November 2013, the UK Department for International Development responded to this shortfall by providing £8.6 million in new funding.