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.
Today’s refugee crisis poses serious challenges to the international order. Conflict and crisis have pushed some 21 million people to seek refuge outside their home countries, including 5 million who have fled Syria since the civil war began in 2011. Approximately 76 percent of refugees live outside of camp settings, making it even more difficult to locate and reach them with essential services. Furthermore, protracted displacement has become the “new normal.” Refugees now spend an average of 10 years away from their homes, and for refugees displaced more than five years, the average is 21 years.
Out of Sight, Exploited and Alone
This brief is a joint effort by 12 national and international humanitarian agencies to raise awareness about this ongoing but hidden crisis for some of the world’s most vulnerable children, specifically focusing on UASC in Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Serbia and Croatia.
FY 2016 Financial Statement
Financial Summary for the Financial Year 2016.
Joint Agency Briefing Note: The Reality of the EU-Turkey Statement
One year ago, European states closed their borders along the Western Balkan route and European Union (EU) leaders put in place the EU-Turkey Statement, a so-called temporary measure to stop irregular migration to Europe. Now EU leaders are declaring their approach a success. The International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Oxfam are providing humanitarian response on the Greek islands and mainland, and as our experience clearly shows, the context on the ground is far more troubling and complex.
Impact of war on Syrian children’s learning: testing shows gaps in literacy and maths skills
Throughout the Syrian conflict, children’s education has been disrupted by displacement and insecurity. Now, an IRC survey of about 3,000 school children at five schools in northern Syria indicates that Syrian children’s maths and literacy skills are falling far behind pre-war levels.
Let us be proud of Europe: more than 160 NGOs call on EU to lead by values, not fear, in migration response
EU leaders must live up to their commitments to European values in responding to migration, more than 160 NGOs said today in a joint statement. The organisations are calling for strong leadership to uphold the rights and values that have been the founding principles of the European Union for 60 years. The statement comes ahead of this week’s EU summit, following months of policies aimed at shutting migration routes across the Mediterranean at any cost. Just last month EU leaders in Malta backed an Italian migration deal with Libya that exposes people to suffering and death. The 162 organizations and networks from more than 20 states – including Oxfam, Save the Children, Care, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) – call for leadership that both defends human rights and addresses people’s fears, rather than fuelling them. It also calls for EU leaders to go beyond rhetoric and deliver on their commitments to defend the human rights of men, women and children on the move. “Strength doesn't mean turning away those most in need. Strength is about showing a way forward that upholds values,” the letter reads.
Humanitarian crisis in Logone et Chari: A rapid and decisive response is necessary in Cameroon’s Far North
IRC has been working in Cameroon since early 2016, and is now expanding operations further north into the Logone et Chari department in order to meet the needs of refugees and internally displaced people.
Lake Chad Basin Crisis: An Analysis of Violence against Women, Children and Displaced Populations in the region - February 2017
By establishing a clear mechanism to conduct joint analysis among state, private sector, humanitarian and development actors, coordinating on policy and programming, and setting collective outcome goals for self-reliance and protection, the most vulnerable populations of the Lake Chad Basin would receive a focused response through better aid.
In Search of Work - Creating Jobs for Syrian Refugees: A Case Study of the Jordan Compact
The war in Syria has raged on for six years, causing a staggering 11 million people to flee for their lives — the largest refugee crisis of our time. More than 6 million are displaced inside the country, and nearly 5 million have fled to nearby countries in search of safety. But many, including the 1.7 million Syrians registered in neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon, are living in precarious circumstances.
Brief: Urban Response Practitioner Workshop
Today, more than half of the world’s 59.5 million forcibly displaced people live in urban areas and their average length of displacement is over a decade.2 In Asia, the world’s fastest urbanizing continent, countries like Iran and Pakistan are among the top-10 major refugee-hosting countries in the world, while Afghanistan remains the second largest source of refugees globally behind Syria.3 In Southeast Asia, Thailand serves as the region’s primary destination for refugees and asylum seekers, with over half a million people of concern living in the country in 2015. These trends have significant implications for cities within the region, including heightened challenges for providing basic services to the city’s existing inhabitants as well as new residents. They also impact the changing humanitarian landscape, where traditional humanitarian responses have been most often designed for camp or rural/remote contexts. In order to better understand these issues, to learn from challenges and successes, and to identify more appropriate ways of working, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) hosted an Urban Practitioner Workshop on Meeting Needs in a Context of Urban Displacement in Asia. The aim of the workshop was to bring together humanitarian, international development, community organizations, and local municipal actors called into action by various urban crises within the region.