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Take Action: urge funding to address refugee crisis
October 27, 2015

Take Action: urge funding to address refugee crisis
A Syrian family walks in the direction of the Tovarnik train station in Croatia. JRS South East Europe is providing support to forced migrants in Macedonia, Kosovo and Croatia on a daily basis. (Sergi Cámara — Jesuit Refugee Service)

(Washington, D.C.) October 27, 2015 — Over the past several weeks, the global community has been grappling with how to respond to thousands of refugees fleeing conflict throughout the Middle East and Africa.  

So far this year, more than 644,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea. More than 3,100 people have perished in the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach safety. Just this past weekend, 40 bodies washed ashore in Libya, an all-too-frequent occurrence.

As the winter season approaches and weather conditions deteriorate, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA continues to work to address the current crisis. From providing food, shelter, counseling and education services, to calling on policymakers to prioritize the safety and human rights of refugees.

Now is the time for the U.S. to act.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate introduced S.2145 – The Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2016. This bipartisan bill will allow the United States to allocate an additional $1 billion to respond to the refugee crisis resulting from conflict in the Middle East. This funding will both support humanitarian relief efforts and increase the U.S. capacity to resettle refugees.  

As Congress considers S.2145, please send a message to your Senators urging them to take quick action in moving this legislation forward. Time is of the essence and policymakers need to know that Americans care about the plight of refugees and are calling for action.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is an international Catholic non-governmental organization whose mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. 

To accompany means to be a companion. We are companions of Jesus, so we wish to be companions of those with whom he preferred to be associated, the poor and the outcast. JRS services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs. JRS advocates for just and generous policies and programs for the benefit of victims of forced displacement, so that those made vulnerable by exile can receive support and protection and durable solution to their plight can be achieved. 

JRS/USA witnesses to God’s presence in vulnerable and often forgotten people driven from their homes by conflict, natural disaster, economic injustice, or violation of their human rights.  

As one of the ten geographic regions of Jesuit Refugee Service, JRS/USA serves as the major refugee outreach arm of U.S. Jesuits and their institutional ministries, mobilizing their response to refugee situations in the U.S. and abroad. Through our advocacy and fund raising efforts, JRS/USA provides support for the work of JRS throughout the world.  

JRS/USA gives help, hope, ear and voice to vulnerable people on the move by being present to and bearing witness to their plight; by relieving their human suffering and restoring hope; by addressing the root causes of their displacement and improving international responses to refugee situations. 

In addition, JRS/USA inspires the Ignatian family and others to respond together to the needs of refugees and displaced persons worldwide and forges strong partnerships with like-minded institutions and agencies devoted to the cause of refugees and displaced persons.

JRS works in more than 45 countries worldwide to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of nearly 760,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, more than half of whom are women. JRS services are available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs.

In 2014, approximately 142,000 children, young people and adults received primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education services. JRS places the highest priority on ensuring a better future for refugees by investing heavily in education and training. Further, JRS undertakes advocacy to ensure all displaced children be provided with access to quality education. JRS services are provided to refugees regardless of race, ethnic origin or religious beliefs.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. 

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Mr Christian Fuchs