Search form

Who we are

The IRC in Europe


The  International Rescue Committee UK  is  the IRC’s hub in Europe, with a mission to raise profile, deliver policy and practice change, and increase funding to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and reclaim control of their future. 


IRC in Brussels  

IRC Brussels leads on the IRC's engagement with the EU institutions. IRC Brussels seeks 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. 

The IRC works in collaboration with other Brussels-based NGOs to coordinate advocacy work and maximise impact. We are a member of Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies (VOICE), the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN).  

IRC Brussels was established in 2001.

IRC in Berlin

The IRC has strong roots with Germany. The organisation was founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein to help refugees from Germany and across Europe to escape conflict and persecution. In July 2016, we established IRC Deutschland based in Berlin. The team is responsible for leading our engagement with the German government, civil society organisations and leading think tanks on global humanitarian assistance, as well as providing technical assistance, tools and to support the successful integration and resettlement of refugees in Germany.  

IRC in Geneva  

First established in 1956, the IRC Geneva office acts as liaison with Geneva-based humanitarian institutions, most significantly the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It also represents the IRC in various fora together with UN Specialised Agencies, UN Member States, intergovernmental organisations, nongovernmental organisations and NGO consortia. The team based in Geneva also provides technical support to IRC programmes in the field.

Stichting Vluchteling  

Stichting Vluchteling (SV), the Netherlands Refugee Foundation, and the IRC have a similar history, rooted in the resistance to Nazi persecution leading up to and during World War II. The first United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart, and the first UNHCR representative in The Netherlands, Kees Brouwer, both highly decorated resistance workers, laid the foundation of SV. SV works across the globe to assist refugees and displaced people and has been working closely with the IRC for over 30 years.  

In 2015 the partnership was strengthened through a Cooperative Agreement making the IRC into SV’s sole implementing partner, enabling both organisations to provide better and faster aid to refugees and displaced people across the globe. In the Netherlands, SV raises and receives funds from governmental institutions, the Dutch Post Code Lottery, companies and private and family contributors. Its constituency consists of some 140,000 private donors. SV also calls for attention for the plight of refugees in crisis situations, by generating media coverage and by presenting its message through digital channels and at festivals and events. SV celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2016. 

Programming in Europe

The International Rescue Committee also delivers programmes in Europe in Greece and Serbia.