Aug 4, 2021

Your Impact: Helping Protect Asylum Seekers

Asylum seekers &  friends are reunited in the U.S.
Asylum seekers & friends are reunited in the U.S.

Your Impact: Helping Protect Asylum Seekers

As the humanitarian crisis in northern Central America – El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – grows, it continues to force thousands of people to flee for safety in neighboring countries and the United States.

Currently, IRC response teams in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are expanding and scaling-up programs to deliver services and humanitarian assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, and returnees.

The IRC’s response includes capacity-building support for local partners to increase and improve the availability and quality of services in northern Central America, in northern and southern Mexico border towns, and in Mexico City. Programing includes prevention and protection for survivors of gender-based violence – primarily women, girls and the LGBTQI+ community; economic recovery and development; mental health and psychosocial support; child protection; cultural orientation; prevention and mitigation of case management; and access to critical information through dynamic information and moderation platforms.

In the U.S., the IRC has served thousands of individuals, children, and families seeking asylum and protection before, during, and after the arrival of many immigrants, including asylum seekers, at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The IRC recently released a report with policy recommendations for the current U.S. administration to address the most urgent drivers of migration from the region, which you can read below.

IRC Policy Recommendations to Help Communities in Crisis

The IRC recommends the following steps to meaningfully address the humanitarian crisis – of which migration is the last resort:

1. Invest in humanitarian assistance in the region

  • Provide humanitarian cash support: to satisfy immediate needs with additional support to help rebuild lives to prevent future migration.
  • Develop a robust shelter system: Specialized and family shelters are lacking in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
  • Improve access to information: Continuous collaboration with trusted organizations to reach and communicate with populations of concern.
  • Fund case management: Support services and access to resources are necessary within countries of origin, regional countries, and the U.S., while asylum seekers await the adjudication of their claim.

2. Support opportunities for people to find safety in their communities of first refuge

  • Money, legal and psychosocial support are among the priority needs for internally displaced people.
  • Access to reliable and timely information is key to helping people assess their options and make the best decisions for themselves.

3. Support returnees to reestablish their lives in their countries of origin

  • Those returning to their countries of origin do so with new skills, fresh perspectives, and a proven track record of being innovative and risk-taking. They represent a unique and valuable workforce.
  • Returnees need help understanding the systems, accessing resources, protection, and psychosocial support.

4. Build protection capacity and alternative pathways in the region

  • The U.S. government should work with local partners and NGOs to strengthen protection capacity and uphold the right to seek asylum in alignment with international law.
  • With protection forward support from organizations, the government can work with NGOs to receive direct referrals for vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQI+ asylum seekers.
  • Significantly increasing in-country resettlement and ensuring timely regional refugee processing will serve to provide protection from the existing risks of violence, trafficking, and life-threatening migration journeys.

5. Assist the leading root drivers of migration

  • Assist in breaking the cycle of chronic violence: Actions can include judicial and police reforms to eliminate a culture of impunity; fostering Early Childhood Development; preventing violence with behavioral change management processes; and developing multi-dimensional community-based violence prevention programs, including prenatal and maternal health interventions.
  • Utilize a trauma informed approach and account for wrap-around services for survivors of violence: People who have lived in gang-controlled communities will likely need additional support to obtain employment and be successful in a professional environment. Mental health and psychosocial support are necessary for individuals who have experienced trauma. Trauma informed care must account for access not only to support services but also to justice.
  • Support regional community leadership in addressing the impacts of climate change: Investments must be made to assist local community leaders in making societal and structural changes in their communities.

Thank you for your support and for continuing to stand with asylum seekers and refugees. Together, we can make a difference and save thousands of lives.

Asylum seekers &  friends are reunited in the U.S.
Asylum seekers & friends are reunited in the U.S.
Children seek safety in El Salvador
Children seek safety in El Salvador
Children seek safety in El Salvador
Children seek safety in El Salvador
Reynaldo returned to El Salvador via IRC's support
Reynaldo returned to El Salvador via IRC's support
Reynaldo returned to El Salvador via IRC's support
Reynaldo returned to El Salvador via IRC's support
Aug 2, 2021

Welcoming Refugees in the U.S.

A DRC family builds a new life in Phoenix.
A DRC family builds a new life in Phoenix.

The Impact of Your Support: welcoming refugees in the U.S.

After four years of Trump Administration policies that harmed people seeking safety, President Joe Biden pledged to restore America’s long tradition of welcome. Following some critical first steps during his first 100 days in office, he increased his predecessor’s record-low cap on refugee admissions.

From harm to a new home

As a leading resettlement partner, with more than 20 offices across the United States, the IRC is scaling our support to provide newly arrived refugees with immediate aid, including food, housing and medical attention. 

With your support, each resettlement office can serve as a free, one-stop center for refugees’ needs during their pivotal first months in the country. Through a network of staff members and volunteers, the IRC is helping refugees learn about life and customs in America, secure jobs, learn English, and become citizens. We are providing most of the essential items they need to restart their lives here and help them overcome cultural barriers so that their adjustment is as easy as possible.

Through community gardening, nutrition education and small-business farming, the IRC's New Roots program is giving hundreds of refugee farmers the tools and training they need to grow healthy and affordable food and become self-sufficient.

This month we also began working again with partner agencies to relocate a select group of Afghan citizens granted special immigrant visas for their exceptional service to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Together, we are providing services for these individuals, including medical care and safe resettlement by a sponsoring resettlement agency. 

The IRC has resettled more than 16,000 Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients since Congress established the program in 2006, and is committed to ensuring that these families are given a chance to seek safety. 

Thank you for supporting refugees as they rebuild their lives in the United States.

Valentina was threatened by gangs in El Salvador.
Valentina was threatened by gangs in El Salvador.
Junaid is part of IRC's Hospitality Link program.
Junaid is part of IRC's Hospitality Link program.
Aug 2, 2021

A Path to Ending Malnutrition

A Nigerian mother gives her child fortified food.
A Nigerian mother gives her child fortified food.

The Impact of Your Support: A path to ending malnutrition

Malnutrition contributes to the deaths of approximately 3 million children under the age of five each year. Experts anticipate a rise in the number of malnourished children as a result of COVID-19. Now, a historic locust outbreak threatens millions with starvation.

As countries already affected by conflict and crisis face the added challenges of COVID-19 and the worst plague of locusts in generations, the IRC is supporting the health of children and families with your support.

A groundbreaking approach to treatment

After four years of research and successful studies in Kenya and South Sudan in concert with partner organizations, we’ve developed a game-changing approach to combat acute malnutrition.

We bring treatment straight to children in their homes and communities, adapting our programs to safely provide continuous care during the coronavirus crisis. We’ve already seen success with this approach in training local health workers to treat diseases like pneumonia or malaria.

We’ve also created simple and intuitive tools that community health workers can use to diagnose acute malnutrition. One example is a color-coded armband that anyone can use to measure upper-arm circumference.

With IRC training and tools, community health workers placed at health posts across Ethiopia have helped to reduce child mortality by two-thirds.

Thanks to your support, families fighting malnutrition right now are helped by the IRC with:

  • Food and medicine delivered with heightened COVID-19 safety measures; 
  • Medical support from mobile health teams for families in hard-to-access places; 
  • Malnutrition tests, a simplified treatment process, and timely follow-up;
  • Nutritious, therapeutic foods like Plumpy’ Nut, a vitamin-packed, protein-rich paste that does not require preparation or medical supervision;
  • Economic support in locust-affected regions to mitigate further damage and reduce the risk of widespread famine;
  • Direct assistance to farmers and livestock herders impacted by locusts, and special support for the most vulnerable facing a hunger crisis.

Thank you for being part of the solution.

IRC delivering safe, in-home health treatments.
IRC delivering safe, in-home health treatments.
 
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