Life was already hard for refugees. The coronavirus has made it even harder. So resettlement agencies and groups are ramping up efforts to help and doing fundraising to support those efforts.
They’re doing it at the international and local level.
A perfect example at the local level is Canopy NWA in Arkansas, which is asking donors to contribute to Canopy’s Crisis Relief Fund. Originally the fund was for families who were just completing their first 90 days in America and needed a few more weeks of financial help on their way to economic self-sufficiency.
With the advent of the coronavirus, Canopy is expanding the fund to help any family experiencing a loss of income due to the virus outbreak. Any disbursements of funds will be accompanied by case management support and employment services to ensure a rapid return to self-sufficiency.
In New York, the B’nai Jeshurun Refugee and Immigration Committee Family Support Team is working with families who are lost their jobs or lost work because of the virus. The committee has created Amazon wishlists for the family; interested donors can find those wishlists here and here.
At the international level, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is focusing on crisis zones with especially weak health systems. That’s in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Burkina Faso and Venezuela.
Its goal with this work:
- Mitigate and respond to the spread of coronavirus within vulnerable communities
- Protect IRC staff
- Continue life-saving programming as much as possible across more than 40 countries worldwide.
The COVID-19 the coronoa virus causes is going to hit refugee camps in war zones like Syria and Yemen are going to hit refugees even harder David Miuliband, president and CEO of IRC said.
The IRC is running an appeal for $30 million to help fund these efforts; you can contribute here.