Audio: Jesuit Refugee Service takes a global approach to urban refugee issues

(Washington, D.C.) April 27, 2012 – Jesuit Refugee Service has long recognized that serving urban refugee populations is a major challenge. Isolation, restrictive and inadequate government policies and resource constraints all take on increased significance in urban settings. In March of this year, JRS staff from more than 25 countries met in Bangkok for a global consultation meeting to discuss and debate our work with urban refugees. After four days of intense discussion and debate, quality, participation and learning emerged as the guiding principles for JRS work with refugees in urban areas.

Listen to an audio interview with several participants:

Jesuit Refugee Service takes a global approach to urban refugee issues.



Humanitarian NGOs concerned over proposed 9% cut to key poverty-focused accounts

(Washington, D.C.) April 25, 2012 — InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs, expressed grave concern over the deep 9 percent cut in the discretionary spending allocations for FY2013 foreign affairs programs passed today by the House Appropriations Committee.

As approved, the allocation for the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee was $40.1 billion for base programs (non-war related, non-emergency) and $8.2 billion for “overseas contingency operations,” (OCO) for a total of $48.3 billion.  This amounts to an overall cut from the current fiscal year of about $5 billion (9 percent), and is $5 billion lower than the Senate Appropriations Committee allocation made last week.

“We recognize the tough fiscal environment and the need for restraint, but we are disappointed to see the House appropriations allocation for foreign affairs reduced to a level which curbs our ability to fight extreme poverty,” said Samuel A. Worthington, President and CEO of InterAction.   Read the rest of this entry »

School educates youth, lifts community in Haiti

A two-year commitment and $225,000 from Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is enabling a new preschool here to provide education, and nutritious meals, to more than 195 students.

A group of Catholic nuns from the Carmelitas de La Caridad de Vedruna order had been providing the service to 60 children, but with the help of JRS they’ve been able to expand the educational program. Classes were once held in the community chapel, but the new school just outside of the town center opened last September. In addition to the classroom block, a latrine was built, and a well for fresh water.

Fond Parisien is located only about one and a half hours from the Haitian capital of Port au Prince, and saw an influx of displaced families from the capital following the January 2010 earthquake.

“When we began thinking about this project we realized there was no preschool; schooling began here at the elementary level. They were forgetting about the most basic education. We saw a gap,” said Sr. Nuria, one of the school founders.

Read the full story on the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA website.

Thousands Worldwide Call on U.S. and Other Outliers to Join Mine Ban Treaty

(Washington, D.C.) April 4, 2012 —  In celebration of the United Nations’ International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action today, thousands of people in more than 70 countries are rolling up their pant leg and standing side-by-side with survivors and landmine-affected communities to call for a full stop to the harm landmines still cause.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL) joins the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in the Lend Your Leg initiative to demand an end to the scourge of antipersonnel mines, and to once again call on the Obama administration to announce the conclusion of the landmine policy review launched in 2009 and to join the Mine Ban Treaty without further delay.

Lend Your Leg 2012, officially partnered with the ICBL and the United Nations with support from the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and was launched on March 1—the 13th anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty—by landmine survivors from all over the world joined by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Since then United Nations officials, politicians, celebrities, journalists and ordinary people everywhere have pledged to “lend their legs” to speak out against this indiscriminate weapon that continues to impair people’s lives every day.

Read the rest of this entry »