As 2010 comes to an end, we’d like to share with you just a few of the great strides the Women's Refugee Commission has made this year to ensure that refugee women, children and youth are safe, healthy and self-reliant.
To make a tax-deductible donation to help us continue this life-saving work, click here.
We have been working hard to ensure that emergency response workers make reproductive health care a priority when natural disaster and conflict strike. For example, after the Haiti earthquake in January we advocated for the wide-scale provision of life-saving reproductive health care for the 750,000 women of reproductive age displaced by the earthquake. These critical services provide birthing kits for safer childbirth, treatment for survivors of sexual violence and access to family planning.
Our fuel and firewood initiative has teamed up with the World Food Programme (WFP) to make sure displaced women in seven countries have safe access to cooking fuel and clean cookstoves. Six million displaced people will be reached via the WFP’s “SAFE” initiative; as a result, women and girls will not risk being assaulted when they go looking for wood and children will not have to breathe smoke that causes life-threatening respiratory infections.
Refugee women and young people are often exposed to abuse and exploitation when they try to earn a living, often in the underground economy. Our livelihoods team has been helping UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and governments in countries that host refugees design women’s economic empowerment programs that are both effective and safe. The UN refugee agency’s (UNHCR) offices in Geneva, Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda are now developing economic initiatives that protect refugee women and girls from violence by using our tools, trainings and economic empowerment strategies.
Our detention and asylum program worked with members of Congress to introduce the HELP for Separated Children Act in both the House and the Senate. This legislation will protect immigrant families by ensuring that detained parents can participate in their child custody case so that children are not needlessly separated from their parents.
Our disabilities program staff led an NGO coalition that urged UNHCR to include refugees with disabilities in policies and programs. The agency adopted our recommendations in October, ensuring that refugees with disabilities will be identified and provided with crucial services.
Thank you for your support. Without you, we would not be able to accomplish such great victories on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people. As we look ahead to 2011, your support is critical to our efforts to improve the lives of refugee women and youth. To make a tax-deductible donation, click here.