Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives

by International Rescue Committee
Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives
Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives
Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives
Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives
Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives
Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives
Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives
Help Families Fleeing Crisis Rebuild Their Lives
Apr 6, 2021

The Impact of Your Support: A Year of Resilience

Countering misinformation in Congo
Countering misinformation in Congo

Seven ways the IRC is fighting COVID-19, one year in 

One year into the pandemic, COVID-19 has taken the lives of nearly 3 million people and continues to jeopardize the health and wellbeing of millions more. People uprooted by conflict and crisis are among those most at risk. 

As the world struggles to deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of the most vulnerable must not be neglected or forgotten. Thanks to generous support from you and other donors, the IRC is responding in over 40 countries, including the United States. 

Nearly 90% of the world’s refugeeslive in lower-income nations that find it challenging to provide basic services, let alone stanch the spread of a highly contagious virus. That’s why the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and our partners have been helping to protect families and communities from the most devastating impacts of COVID-19. 

IRC staff on the frontlines have adapted our health services for social distancing, expanded access to clean water, provided remote education to children, and offered cash relief and job opportunities to help families meet basic needs. 

In the coming months, we will play a vital role in training and supporting local health workers to help ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. As we know, no one is safe until everyone around the world is protected. 

Innovating all the way 

Here are seven examples of how, through their ingenuity and dedication, IRC teams are helping to ensure the people we serve can survive the global pandemic and rebuild their lives. 

1. Colombia: Delivering telemedicine 

Some 1.3 million Venezuelans affected by economic crisis have sought safety in Colombia, with more than 35,000 reaching official crossing points every day to seek work, buy food, and receive medical assistance. 

The IRC moved our health services, including COVID-19 testing, closer to the border, and ramped up telemedicine to provide vital primary and reproductive care during the country’s pandemic lockdown. 

2. Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria: Strengthening families 

Our partnership with Sesame WorkshopAhlan Simsim, piloted WhatsApp and other digital tools to provide young children uprooted by the war in Syria with the support they need to learn at home, manage stress, and protect themselves from COVID-19. 

Using multimedia content in local languages and dialects, families have been able to teach their children the alphabet, talk about emotions, and pass on the skills they need to heal and thrive. 

3. Yemen: Delivering cash relief 

The coronavirus pandemic arrived in Yemen after more than five years of conflict that has displaced over 3.6 million people and placed the country on the brink of famine. 

The IRC stepped up our emergency cash support as disruptions related to the pandemic sent the cost of food and other essentials skyrocketing. While wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely deliver cash relief, IRC staff also educated people about COVID-19 prevention. 

4. Democratic Republic of Congo: Fighting a double epidemic 

In April 2020–one month after the outbreak of COVID-19 was deemed a global threat—a second outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus was declared in Congo. The country has spent decades in the grip of violent conflict, and 15.7 million people require urgent humanitarian aid. 

IRC teams were able to draw on the expertise, resources and local networks they had developed while combating Ebola to fight misinformation about COVID-19, build trust, and protect communities at risk. 

5. Cameroon: Finding creative solutions 

Half of people the IRC surveyed in northern Cameroon—a country where violence has left approximately 6.2 million in need of aid—lack access to soap and clean water during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Among other creative solutions, we designed and built, using local materials, 50 public hand-washing stations that can be operated by a foot pedal. People can now sanitize their hands without physically touching a water tap or soap dispensers. 

6. Pakistan: Teaching children to read remotely 

School closures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 have had a dire impact on education in a country already finding it challenging to keep children in classrooms. Some 79% of children in Pakistan will not learn to read by age 10. 

The IRC trained teachers through webinars and devised ways to ensure thousands of children could build their reading skills (in any of seven languages) at home, even without a computer or smartphone. 

7. Uganda: Supporting survivors of violence 

Every year, more than 1 million women experience violence in Uganda. A nationwide coronavirus lockdown has left survivors confined at home with their abusers, often unable to seek help. 

The IRC has adapted our programs to deliver psychological, medical and legal support to survivors remotely. We’ve also bolstered community-based services and coached social workers to provide code words women can use to indicate it’s not safe for them to talk on the phone. 

The way forward 

While thecomingmonths are critical tosaving livesand keeping refugee families afloat economically,we know that COVID-19 will continue to have long-lasting effects worldwide. 

From training community health workers todelivervaccines, to expanding ourglobal digital information platformSignpost, to developing remotely-delivered education, job-training, and protection programs,the IRC is already identifying and investing in the services the hardest-hit communities will need to get back on their feet.

Mobile health clinic in Colombia
Mobile health clinic in Colombia
Bushra, 27, Reproductive Health Officer in Yemen
Bushra, 27, Reproductive Health Officer in Yemen


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Organization Information

International Rescue Committee

Location: New York, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @RESCUEorg
Project Leader:
Alix Samuel
New York, NY United States
$7,721 raised of $20,000 goal
102 donations
$12,279 to go
Donate Now
Emergency Care for a Child | $23 can provide a malnourished child with emergency care, including antibiotics, IV fluids and glucose, as well as supplies to keep a child healthy after recovery.
Safe Passage | $36 can provide refugees with critical information on how to access medical care, asylum services, and what to do in case their family is separated.
English Classes for Refugees | Learning English is a critical step for refugees as they begin their new life, apply for jobs and integrate into their communities.
Year of School | $58 can supply the tuition, books and other supplies a girl needs to attend school for a year.
Reuniting a Refugee Family | Our teams work tirelessly in some of the toughest conditions in the world to locate the child's family, get in contact with them and bring them together once again.
Community Health Worker Training | IRC-trained local health workers treat patients in their own communities for everything from eye infections to malaria, saving thousands of lives.
Mobile Medical Clinics | Our teams navigate rocky terrain, mudslides and other treacherous conditions to reach children and treat them for malnutrition, cholera, and other life-threatening illnesses.
Emergency Classroom | These emergency classrooms, provide a safe space for children to learn, express themselves and bond with other children, many of whom have lost friends and family members.
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