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After 25 Years under the Umbrella of the International Rescue Committee, the Women's Refugee Commission Becomes Independent

We are pleased to announce that as of August 2, 2014, the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) has completed the transition to become an independent legal and fiscal entity. After 25 years of significant impact in improving the lives of refugee, internally displaced and migrant women, children and youth around the world, this new status will allow WRC to build its capacity to assume an even more prominent advocacy role and ensure that it makes an even bigger difference for people uprooted by crisis and conflict.

Back in the 1980s, when Liv Ullmann and Catherine O'Neill, International Rescue Committee (IRC) board members, visited refugee camps, they saw that refugee women and children were seldom consulted and their specific needs rarely identified or taken into account.

To address this gap, and with the support of IRC, Liv and Catherine founded the Women's Refugee Commission to conduct research and advocacy on behalf of displaced women and children. The small organization, with an ambitious agenda, was housed within the IRC but always developed and ran its own programs, conducted its own advocacy and raised all its own funds.

Despite considerable progress over the years, the need for an organization like WRC remains great. With more refugees today than at any time since World War II, and with ongoing crises in Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Myanmar and many other countries, as well as the current influx of unaccompanied children into the United States, WRC's knowledge and expertise have never been in greater demand.

For 25 years, the IRC has been proud to house the WRC. Our collaborative partnership has been extremely fruitful, and we will continue to work closely together on many critical initiatives. IRC celebrates the WRC's successes and fully stands behind the organization's new independence.

Sarah Costa                                       
Executive Director                              
Women's Refugee Commission             

David Miliband
International Rescue Committee