Civil society group urges US President to lead global response to refugee crisis

US President Obama speaks at a United Nations meeting in New York in 2015.US President Barack Obama speaks at a United Nations meeting on the Islamic State in 2015. Photo: US State Department

New York, 25 August 2016 - Ahead of the Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis, to be held on 20 September at the margins of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting, a group of 41 nongovernmental organizations led by civil society alliance InterAction addressed a letter to US President Barack Obama asking him to lead the international community in the protection of uprooted people throughout the world.

The nongovernmental organizations, which include the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), hailed the Leaders' Summit as an opportunity to upscale UN member states’ commitments, including by increasing humanitarian funding and expanding resettlement opportunities as well as by bolstering refugee protection, inclusion, and self-reliance.

The 41 signatories called on the US government to keep addressing the protection needs of refugees and other uprooted people through higher levels of humanitarian financing and committing to the creation of 200,000 refugee and humanitarian admissions in 2017. The letter also urged the Obama administration to pledge to increase legal employment opportunities and grant access to quality education and non-formal education activities to refugee children.

The letter is available for download below.