Look to the Future

By Erol Kekic, Executive Director, IRP

Photo: Paul Jeffrey

Photo: Paul Jeffrey

In the coming year, we’ll further enhance the capacity and the reach of the Immigration and Refugee Program. Looking to continue our approach of combining the relief, refugee assistance and development work under a unified management in Africa, CWS will further diversify its service portfolio and seek innovative solutions for refugees and other populations in need.

It is critical that we look at solutions for displacement through both a developmental and humanitarian lens, applying development solutions whenever possible, even in humanitarian crises. In so doing, we affirm our vision to reverse the global trend of displacement and find solutions for individuals in peril.

How will we get there? We will add staff in areas where we need capacity to support the growing numbers of refugees worldwide, and seek the input of an expanded advisory committee to help guide us. We will expand on the connection between development and refugee support we’ve set out to achieve in Africa. We will counter anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment, and work within CWS to bring extra support to refugees living in the U.S. who are most at risk to natural and human-caused disasters.

The recent Global Trends Report from UNHCR estimates nearly 60 million people were displaced worldwide because of war and conflict by the end of 2014. This represents an increase of 8.5 million in just one year, the largest single-year increase ever recorded. As resources used for humanitarian response across the globe have been exhausted and agencies are being forced to consolidate the assistance available for those who need it most, we, too, will adapt in order to have even more impact in the coming year.