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IRC in Europe

IRC in Brussels

IRC Belgium leads on the IRC's engagement with the EU institutions. Our priority is to ensure that EU policy and legislation meets the needs of those affected by conflict and disaster. We use IRC’s learning and experience to shape EU humanitarian and development policies in ways that improve the lives of more people worldwide. We seek to drive policy change on the refugee crisis in Europe and globally, and to ensure that EU funding for the global refugee crisis is targeted effectively.

IRC Belgium is part of a strong and flourishing European network, working closely with our offices in Germany, UK, Greece, Switzerland, and Serbia, as well as our sister organisation Stichting Vluchteling (SV) in the Netherlands. 

The IRC & the EU 

• The European Union and its member states are collectively the world’s largest aid donor. Our engagement with the European institutions enables us to help shape effective, evidence- based policies that bring maximum benefit for beneficiaries.

• IRC advocates for a sustainable, sensible and above all humanitarian response to the refugee crisis, including the provision of safe and legal routes to protection in the EU.

• We draw on our knowledge of the situation on the ground in Greece and the Balkans to advocate for solutions to address the humanitarian crisis within Europe’s borders.


"Sadness, we are full of sadness" Ebola's psychosocial toll on frontline health workers

Health care workers were at high risk of infection during the Ebola epidemic. They suffered physically, but also socially and emotionally. For many, these consequences remain unaddressed.

June 1, 2016

European Refugee Crisis Situational Briefing - 2016 May

More than 53,000 desperate men, women and children in search of protection remain in Greece. The vast majority on the mainland are Syrian (45 percent), Iraqi (22 percent), and Afghan (21 percent). Unless European states take action now, a long-term refugee crisis, with thousands stranded living in camps, will unfold on European soil. Greece is receiving insufficient support to step up ineffectual asylum processing that currently hinges on registration via Skype. With the hot summer months approaching, difficult living conditions and an inadequate asylum system is a deeply concerning combination for thousands fleeing violence and persecution. Meanwhile, the illogical and unethical EU-Turkey deal is denying sufficient safe alternative pathways into Europe, and serving to promote dangerous journeys and smuggling.

May 9, 2016

Making electronic payments work for humanitarian response

This report builds the case for electronic payment preparedness to support humanitarian interventions by providing a baseline analysis of existing donor support for electronic payment preparedness and actual electronic payment preparedness needs in select high-risk disaster prone countries.

May 1, 2016

Untapped humanitarian demand: A business case for expanding digital financial services

The International Rescue Committee commissioned Strategy Impact Advisors to build a return on investment (ROI) model to estimate whether or not a business case exists for expanded coverage of digital financial services in crisis-prone areas.

May 1, 2016

Summary and recommendations: Making electronic payments work for humanitarian response // Untapped humanitarian demand: A business case for expanding digital financial services

To realize a global scale-up in cash transfers, countries facing crises must have the necessary infrastructure and financial services in place to make payments safely and efficiently.

May 1, 2016

A SAFE HAVEN? Britain’s role in protecting people on the move

The world’s richest continent is failing some of the world’s most vulnerable people. In the last two years, European governments have been unable or unwilling to agree a common humane response to people seeking refuge. This has resulted in the tragic loss of thousands of lives in the Mediterranean, a deplorable humanitarian situation in Europe, and women, men and children embarking on long and hazardous journeys through the continent.

April 14, 2016

European Refugee Crisis Situational Briefing - 2016 April

More than 53,000 asylum seekers are now in need of urgent humanitarian and protection support in Greece. The illogical and unethical EU-Turkey deal has resulted in a European response to the refugee crisis that has detention and return at its heart. This deal only promotes further disorder and smuggling, and is resulting in inhumane treatment of thousands of refugees fleeing violence and persecution. Addressing this situation is not beyond reach, but European states must take urgent action now.

April 12, 2016

European Refugee Crisis Situational Briefing - 23 March 2016

Due to the lack of a humane response by Europe, thousands of refugees fleeing violence and persecution continue to lose their lives and their dignity. Last week the EU and Turkey reached an illogical and unethical deal that will only mean more indignity, more disorder, more dangerous journeys and more lives lost. This is a desperate situation. Addressing it is not beyond reach, but European states must take urgent action now.

March 24, 2016

Global Alliance for Urban Crises- Adapting Global Crisis Response to an Urban World, Urban Crises Charter

This Charter outlines guiding principles for members of the Global Alliance for Urban Crises (the Alliance). They are to be used as a basis for both policy and operational level engagement, in order to be more effective in preventing, preparing for, and responding to humanitarian crises in urban environments. Adapting to an urbanising world: By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Accelerating urbanization is defining our global reality and will shape our future. Urbanization intersects with climate change, natural disasters, conflict and displacement. It is a critical lens through which to review national and international efforts to prevent, prepare for and respond to crises, conflict and disasters

March 22, 2016

Client Voice and Choice learning exchange

The IRC hosted the Client Responsive Humanitarian Action Learning Exchange on March 17 and 18, 2016, bringing together a diverse range of participants to share experiences and ideas on how to best deliver humanitarian programming that is more responsive to the needs and perspectives of clients.

March 17, 2016