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Children smiling in a group
By
Gillian Wagner
Photo Credit
Alight

The crisis in Ukraine has understandably been top of mind for all of us these last few months. There has been record-breaking fundraising to support the people of Ukraine (including over $1.5 million raised here at Global Impact) and it’s deeply moving to witness this swell in support. Certainly, other refugee crises have captured the attention of the global community as well – this past fall, many stood in solidarity with Afghanistan refugees and one year ago the global community marked the 10th anniversary of the Syrian war.

Still, there are dozens of other refugee populations around the world today that aren’t getting enough attention. People are fleeing their homes to escape dangerous and life-threatening conditions at staggering numbers; over 100 million people are displaced, and 26 million of those are refugees. These numbers have doubled in the past decade, and it doesn’t look like they’re getting better any time soon. The amount of conflicts and disasters that create refugees continue to rise. With a 24-hour news cycle and human rights emergencies around the world, it’s easy for these groups to slip through the cracks of public attention.

It is critical that we look beyond Ukraine and educate ourselves on the other refugee crises happening around the world. We have to understand who refugees are and what their experiences are like, so we can be better informed as citizens and donors. Let’s build on this awareness of refugees and help take action to make life better for all displaced people, no matter where they are and where they come from.

To observe Refugee Month at Global Impact, we built a short and info-packed video series featuring our charity partners that work with and advocate for refugees. Grab your coworkers, friends or family and take the next 15 minutes to get a better understanding of refugees around the world.
 

Want a deeper dive on this topic and the ways you can take action for refugees? Join us June 27 for an interactive webinar with International Rescue Committee, Inc. and Refugees International!

 

Who are refugees?


Church World Service is a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster. Check out their two videos to help us understand who refugees are and what the resettlement process looks like.

 


 

What are some challenges they face?


For over 100 years, HIAS has been helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and freedom. People assume the hard part of a refugee’s experience is leaving their home, but HIAS explains that there are also challenges refugees face after they’ve left.


 

What does refugee advocacy look like?


Refugees International advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. They share with us what advocating for refugee populations and meaningful policy change can look like.


 

Where are refugees in the world today?


There are many refugee groups around the world. Here are just a few of the refugee crises the world faces today:

Afghanistan
International Rescue Committee is responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping people to survive, recover and gain control of their future. They are a leader in supporting Afghan refugees, and have a long-standing history of working with people affected by violence in Afghanistan.


Ethiopia
Alight works closely with refugees, trafficked persons and economic migrants to co-design solutions that help them build fulfilling lives. See what they’ve done for refugees fleeing Ethiopia that have sought refuge at a camp in Sudan.


Bangladesh
MOAS is an international humanitarian organization dedicated to providing aid and emergency relief to the most vulnerable communities around the world. Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh and receive nutrition and healthcare support from organizations like MOAS.


Let’s build on the attention given to refugees in this moment, and welcome a new era of refugee support. Together, we can work to address upstream factors that cause conflict and disasters to help families and communities thrive in their home countries. We can also support refugees and asylum seekers as they build safe and secure futures for themselves in their new homes.

 

How are these charities assisting Ukrainian refugees?


All of these charities are addressing the growing number of refugees caused by the conflict in Ukraine as well. Here are some resources to learn more about what they’re doing to help.

  • Alight is providing shelter for Ukrainians through an ongoing partnership with Airbnb.org, providing non-perishable food staples and sending medical supplies into Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis. In border countries, they’re building sanitation support, distributing supplies to newly arrived refugees and arranging transportation for people fleeing the country (including an Ethiopian family that was stranded in Ukraine at the start of the conflict). 
  • Church World Service is supporting on the ground partners in Moldova as they offer shelter to Ukrainian refugees and distribute food, hygiene items and school supplies. Their response will also focus on building and/or strengthening existing protection mechanisms to ensure refugees receive safe and dignified assistance, including child protection services, GBV prevention and anti-trafficking measures.  
  • HIAS is serving as an information hub for different communities on topics including migration and refugee status, resettling Ukrainians in the United States, and expiring visas for Ukrainians currently in the US. They are also offering opportunities for those looking to engage in advocacy efforts related to the emergency. 
  • International Rescue Committee is supporting evacuation efforts for women and children; providing critical information services about housing, employment, refugee rights and registration for displaced people; and providing psychosocial care through a dedicated hotline. IRC is also quickly ramping up cash distributions, allocating medical equipment, offering gender-based violence and prevention services and setting up Safe Healing and Learning Spaces for children. 
  • MOAS is conducting evacuations for chronically ill children and providing point of injury care in recently bombarded civilian areas. 40 staff members are active on the ground with eight chase vehicles and two evacuation ambulances. More staff and resources are arriving to provide lifesaving, front-line medical care in the coming weeks. 
  • Refugees International’s advocacy calls for an end to and accountability for Russian war crimes, a robust response to meet the humanitarian needs in Ukraine and broad protection for refugees fleeing Ukraine. Their work includes reporting on the crisis and galvanizing the international community to put commitments into practice.

 

What can you do?
 

  • Give to our Refugee Fund. Your donation goes directly to these organizations to be used where they need support the most.
  • Attend our event on Monday, June 27: Interactive Webinar | Take Action for Refugees.
  • To highlight this topic in your workplace giving campaign, explore resources on our Employee Giving Hub like the Refugee Cause Kit.  
  • Share this video series with colleagues, friends & family or on social media.


If you want more stories like this, sign-up for our newsletter here.

Gillian Wagner

Gillian Wagner

Gillian Wagner is the Fundraising Coordinator at Global Impact. In this position, she supports the Campaign Engagement team’s work with charity alliance partners and public sector campaigns. She has a knack for organization and brings her passion for nonprofit management to her role every day. As the Fundraising Coordinator, Gillian enjoys highlighting the work of the nonprofits she supports and sharing their powerful stories of change. Her previous work experience includes the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Coalition for Smarter Growth. She’s a true Wisconsinite and won’t let her colleagues forget it when they try to complain about D.C.’s “winter weather.”

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