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Our work in action

The IRC: 83 years of history

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

  • At the end of World War II, the IRC initiated emergency relief programmes, like this food distribution centre in Berlin, and began refugee resettlement in Europe. Photo: IRC

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  • In 1956, the IRC began relief and resettlement efforts for thousands of Hungarian refugees who were uprooted when a revolt against Soviet rule was crushed by the Red Army. Photo: IRC

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  • In the 1960s, the IRC’s first resettlement office outside of New York opened in Miami, to assist Cuban refugees fleeing the Castro dictatorship. Photo: IRC

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  • When 200,000 Angolans escaped their country’s colonial government during the war of independence in 1962, the IRC launched its first programmes in Africa. Photo: Nick Erjavec/IRC

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  • From 1954 to 1975, the IRC worked aiding Vietnamese refugees displaced by conflict. Following the Vietnam War, the IRC took a lead role in the largest refugee resettlement programme in American history. Photo: IRC

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  • Within weeks of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the IRC rushed to aid Afghan refugees who poured into Pakistan. More than three decades later, we continue to provide to a country still riddled by conflict. Photo: IRC

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  • The IRC began work in the former Yugoslavia in 1992 following the ethnic cleansing carried out by the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 1993, we’ve resettled over 20,000 refugees from the Balkans in the U.S.. Photo: Elizabeth Rappaport/IRC

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  • In 1994, as a result of the Rwandan genocide and civil war, the IRC established emergency programmes to aid Rwandan refugees. In the years following, the IRC helped to reunite families separated in the chaos. Photo: IRC

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  • After a tsunami hit Indonesia on December 26, 2004, our mobile relief teams arrived to provide emergency aid to those affected - including providing child friendly spaces for children displaced by the disaster. Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

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  • As the conflict in Darfur displaced thousands, the IRC was one of the only organisations assisting refugees pouring into Chad at the beginning of the conflict. More than a decade years later, millions remain displaced. Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

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  • Since the outbreak began in 2014, IRC has been on the forefront of the fight to stem the spread of the Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia. We’re working closely with local partners to help communities rebuild and recover. Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

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  • IRC deployed an emergency team to the Greek island of Lesbos in July 2015 to aid thousands of refugees arriving to Europe from Turkey. We continue to work in Europe and in the Syrian region to assist Syrian refugees fleeing their country’s brutal civil war. Photo: Tyler Jump/IRC

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From our president

Never before has the world needed the IRC as it does today. Meeting those needs will require not only new thinking and approaches, but new partners.

David MilibandPresident & CEO of the International Rescue Committee