***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
JULY 31, 2017
Jenny Yang | 443.527.8363
Christina Klinepeter | 872.888.9797
World Relief Responds to New Report on Refugee Crisis
Released by Human Rights First
BALTIMORE, MD – The United States’ position of leadership in the response to the global refugee crisis has dramatically eroded in the past six months according to a new report released by Human Rights First, a leading non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization. As a result of changes in U.S. policy, global refugee resettlement is now predicted to fall by 30-40% in 2017 as compared to 2016. The refugees most affected by this decline are women and children, including those who have suffered sexual and gender-based violence, as well as survivors of torture.
“In addition to women and children, the decision of the United States to allow fewer refugees also means that the U.S. will accept the lowest number of refugees who have been persecuted for their Christian faith in a decade,” says Emily Gray, World Relief’s Senior Vice President for U.S. Ministries. This is in spite of many calls from Christian leaders, including those in evangelical traditions, for the U.S. to increase the numbers of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. “What these leaders understand,” according to Scott Arbeiter, President of World Relief, “is that we must appropriately balance security and compassion. This report clearly shows that we are not achieving that balance, and that people are suffering as a result.”
“The current U.S. policies renege on promises the U.S. has made to those who have served with our military and with U.S. companies working in places like Iraq and Syria,” said Gray.
The Human Rights First report highlights the example that in the first 5 months of the Trump Administration, there has been a 64% decrease in refugees who fled into Jordan, being permanently resettled to another country. “Through our work in Jordan, we see very directly the impact of the refugee crisis there, and these actions by the administration are compounding the struggles of refugees who are trying to find safety in countries that are already struggling,” reports World Relief CEO Tim Breene. As refugees reach above 23 million worldwide, the vast majority are hosted inside the world’s poorest countries, creating conditions that can rapidly deteriorate and lead to further strife, violence and displacement.
“The United States needs to reaffirm our commitment to not only supporting refugees in countries of first asylum, but also continuing our welcome of them,” said Scott Arbeiter, President of World Relief.
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World Relief is a global humanitarian relief and development organization that stands with the vulnerable and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. With over 70 years of experience, World Relief works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding and has offices in the United States that specialize in refugee and immigration services.