Did You Know?
- There are a record 70.8 million refugees who have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.
- People remain in refugee limbo (exiled without resettlement) for an average of 10 years.
- Refugee resettlement in the United States is currently set at the lowest level in history.
- Developing countries with weaker infrastructure and public health systems are experiencing the highest growth rates of Covid-19.
- Refugees face immense and unique challenges that make some communities more vulnerable to infectious diseases – from living in close quarters to lack of clean water for hand washing.
- Covid-19 has disrupted the ability of the aid community to meet refugee needs as donor capitals attend to domestic issues with the virus.
- There are many professional refugees who are prevented from participating in the labor market while waiting for resettlement. Exceptions to exclusionary labor laws have been made to allow medically-trained refugees to serve as doctors, nurses, and emergency responders, and others are making soap, masks, and other hygiene products. Despite living with limited rights and often in appalling conditions, refugee communities are helping combat COVID-19 around the world.
What Can You Do?
- Donate to one of the nine Refugee Resettlement Agencies:
- Church World Services
- Ethiopian Community Development Council
- Episcopal Migration Ministries
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
- International Rescue Committee
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- World Relief Corporation
- Purchase items for emergency kits from the International Rescue Committee’s Amazon Wish List
- Purchase your face masks from a refugee group
- If you sew, join the Million Mask Challenge
- In the United States, urge your representatives to provide coronavirus relief funds to immigrants and refugees.
- Volunteer to tutor online
- Order take-out from a local refugee-and immigrant-owned restaurant
- Share resources with refugees in their home language
Merciful God, we pray to you for all the men, women and children who have died after leaving their homelands in search of a better life.
Though many of their graves bear no name, to you each one is known, loved and cherished.
May we never forget them, but honour their sacrifice with deeds more than words. We entrust to you all those who have made this journey, enduring fear, uncertainty and humiliation, in order to reach a place of safety and hope.
Just as you never abandoned your Son as he was brought to a safe place by Mary and Joseph, so now be close to these, your sons and daughters, through our tenderness and protection.
In caring for them may we seek a world where none are forced to leave their home and where all can live in freedom, dignity and peace.
Merciful God and Father of all, wake us from the slumber of indifference, open our eyes to their suffering, and free us from the insensitivity born of worldly comfort and self-centredness.
Inspire us, as nations, communities and individuals, to see that those who come to our shores are our brothers and sisters.
May we share with them the blessings we have received from your hand, and recognize that together, as one human family, we are all migrants, journeying in hope to you, our true home, where every tear will be wiped away, where we will be at peace and safe in your embrace.