IN SEPTEMBER, WORLD RELIEF RESETTLES NEARLY TWICE AGENCY’S MONTHLY AVERAGE OF REFUGEES
On the heels of the Obama Administration raising the annual refugee ceiling, World Relief resettled 1,400 refugees in the US to close out 2016 Fiscal Year.
NEW YORK, NY – Closing out the 2016 fiscal year on September 30th, World Relief resettled approximately 1,400 refugees across the United States, nearly twice the average number of refugees the global humanitarian organization typically resettles over the course of a given month. Throughout its 26 U.S. resettlement offices, World Relief staff and volunteers have mobilized local congregations to welcome 9,759 refugees in the past year from the Middle East, Central and Eastern Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia as they transition to life in America. This was the agency’s largest caseload since 1999.
The increase comes on the heels of President Obama raising the annual refugee ceiling for the 2017 Fiscal Year to 110,00 refugees – an increase of almost 30 percent from the 85,000 admitted in FY16.
“The task set before us last month was nothing short of monumental, but the work our dedicated staff and volunteers have accomplished has been equally impressive.” says Scott Arbeiter, President of World Relief. “Through their tireless commitment, hundreds of refugee families have received a warm welcome and found communities eager to receive them. With news of the increased refugee ceiling in Fiscal Year 2017, we are prepared to continue meeting the increased need into the next year by providing resettlement assistance to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
Last month, Arbeiter was invited by President Obama to be a delegate at The Leader’s Summit on Global Refugee Crisis, held in New York City. Arbeiter represented World Relief alongside more than 50 countries and international organizations involved in refugee humanitarian work. The Summit, which also gathered world leaders like UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, announced commitments to increase funding and resources for refugee assistance. World Relief also delivered 152,189 advocacy postcards from individuals supporting the aims of the Refugee Summit to the Department of State and White House, including an additional 10,000 postcards to members of Congress, asking them to support robust funding to help refugees overseas and in the United States.
“Throughout these engagements, certain priorities have become clear. We must seek to increase international humanitarian assistance funding, offer opportunities for refugee resettlement and alternative forms of legal admissions, and facilitate refugees’ access to education and lawful employment,” reads the joint statement released by the co-host nations of the Summit.
A faith-based humanitarian organization, World Relief seeks to empower local churches to serve the most vulnerable. In 2016, World Relief partnered with over 1,180 congregations in 26 different communities to welcome refugees.
“We welcome refugees. That is our call. It is our joy! Besides a home and a job, what refugees need most is a community that will take them in as one of their own and help them adjust to a new culture and society,” Arbeiter explains. “This is where the local church comes in. Galvanized by the scriptural imperative to welcome strangers and equipped with resources and a rich network of believers, local churches are perhaps the communities best positioned to do this work.”
“This is indeed the greatest refugee crisis the world has ever seen, but it’s also the greatest opportunity for Americans, especially Christians, to respond in kindness and generosity. We are calling on Americans to ignore political rhetoric and just serve people,” added Arbeiter.
World Relief is one of nine agencies authorized by the State Department to resettle refugees around the country. Since 1979, World Relief has resettled over 278,000 refugees in the United States.
World Relief is a global humanitarian aid and development organization that stands with the vulnerable and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. With over 70 years of experience, World Relief has 26 offices in the United States that specialize in refugee and immigration services, and works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding.