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Apr 27, 2020

Update - Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild

IRC paramedics screening Sakera in triage section.
IRC paramedics screening Sakera in triage section.

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread globally, people living in crisis will be hit hardest, and vulnerable families need immediate access to medical care. The International Rescue Committee is scaling up our response to the pandemic, providing lifesaving programs to vulnerable communities in over 40 countries worldwide, including the United States.

To help rescue lives, the IRC teams require emergency supplies. $60 can provide such essential items including protective gear, to effectively screen and educate communities to prevent the spread of contagious diseases such as COVID-19.

Additional supplies include foldable stretchers to transport at-risk pregnant women to medical facilities in conflict zones in Syria and Iraq.

Especially during this global pandemic, IRC is sending mobile teams to provide medical care to children in the most remote and hard-to-reach places in the world. Our teams navigate rocky terrain, mudslides and other treacherous conditions to reach children.

We also provide children and adults with preventative care and clean water, which is all the more critical now with the COVID-19 outbreak. Without our mobile health clinics, many children in war-torn Yemen and Nigeria would not have access to health care.

$500 can equip a mobile medical team with items such as scales, medical equipment, patient cards and tables, as well as protective gear to prevent the spread of contagious diseases like the coronavirus.

Thank you for your unwavering support.

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Apr 27, 2020

Update - Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S.

On April 21, 2020 President Donald Trump called for an Executive Order to halt immigration to America. The International Rescue Committee rejects this announcement; and we need your support now more than ever.

Immigrants are making huge contributions to America’s response to the novel coronavirus, and historically, to America’s economy. There are growing gaps in the transportation and logistics industry where immigrants already make up 1.5 million workers. In food production, more than 700,000 immigrants work in agriculture or meat processing jobs, not including 200,000 guest workers in farms.

The shortage of healthcare professionals was well documented even before COVID-19 struck U.S. communities. Refugees and immigrants are integral to the COVID-19 response in the U.S. with 17 percent of the health system made up of immigrants, and 29 percent of doctors born outside of America. Immigrants also show high representation in fields that are relevant to seeking treatment for COVID-19 with 40 percent of medical and life scientists and 30 percent of chemist and material scientists, according to the CATO institute’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

The IRC recently launched an online platform with partners for refugees and immigrants with medical training abroad but are not credentialed in the U.S. to join the fight against COVID-19.

Hans Van de Weerd, the Vice President of Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration for the International Rescue Committee said:

“With immigrants already working on the front lines in the U.S. to help fight the global pandemic, and more people eager to join and help from around the world, today’s announcement indicates that more help is not welcome and families must stay separated. This marks yet another heartbreaking and demoralizing development."

"It is a shame that this announcement comes as more and more immigrants and refugees continue to sign up to help, with nearly 500 people signing up on refugees.rescue.org to put their health expertise to work, knowing that doing so may put their own health at risk. There isn’t evidence that travel bans work to stop the spread of COVID-19, but there is plenty of evidence that our health care system needs more support and that immigrants enrich the economy and country. We need tests, not bans.”

“This immigration ban will impact families waiting for years to be reunited. It will impact newly-weds waiting to start their lives, and adopted children waiting to meet their new parents. It also comes on top of recent actions that cut off thousands of asylum seekers from seeking protection, including many families and unaccompanied children. When COVID-19 ends, it will take the united effort of all Americans – those born abroad and in the U.S. – to rebuild.”

Apr 27, 2020

Update - Support Refugee Children

Education is critical in emergency situations. It’s one of the first things parents ask for, but it accounts for less than 3% of all humanitarian aid. International Rescue Committee’s senior education policy advisor is a mother to two young girls who are out of school during the coronavirus pandemic. She shared, "I now understand this firsthand."

"It’s so difficult to see my daughters — four and seven years old — out of school. I worry about their missing out on learning and socialization opportunities during their critical windows of development. Yet as much as I worry about them, I know that children out of school in crisis areas or refugee camps face even greater challenges. But these are challenges that we can meet, wherever we are."

In times of crisis, education is a lifeline, not a luxury. It provides children with routine and stability, along with the skills they need to heal and learn. Safe educational opportunities that include social-emotional learning and connections to nurturing adults can reduce or reverse the effects of stress caused by crisis and disruption, and build children’s resilience.

During health emergencies, schools also become critical resources for families and children to access health and hygiene information on how to prevent and mitigate illness.

In crisis settings, education also can provide physical protection from violence, abuse and exploitation that children in these contexts may be more vulnerable to.

All too often when children in crisis lose their right to education their wellbeing is at risk. But children are resilient, and love and support from parents can go a long way in building their strength and their ability to cope and thrive.

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