Catholic Relief Services and twenty-nine other international humanitarian organizations have pledged to invest $1.2 billion over three years in global humanitarian efforts.
Announced ahead of President Barack Obama's Leaders' Summit on Refugees, CRS and other members of InterAction, a U.S.-based alliance of international nongovernmental organizations, will track and announce annually private investments by participating member NGOs in humanitarian aid related to refugee services and relief. To that end, CRS has developed specific policy recommendations for the United States and international donor community, including a call for the U.S. to design and fund humanitarian interventions that integrate refugees into host communities over the long term; engage development actors in responding to refugee needs; bring cash- and market-based assistance to scale through additional funding and technical support; engage local actors in refugee response as the norm; and support political solutions aimed at ending conflicts and other root causes of displacement.
The coalition also is urging the U.S. and international donor community to recognize and respond to the needs of all vulnerable people, regardless of legal status; shift their focus to humanitarian efforts at the local level; push for reform of the United Nations system; and increase refugee and other protections to children fleeing violence in Central America.
"The InterAction pledge represents the deep, ongoing commitment of U.S. civil society to meet the growing needs of those fleeing violence, like the conflict in Syria," said Jennifer Poidatz, CRS's vice president of humanitarian response. "It's our hope that the pledge galvanizes further collaboration between public and private partners, because this type of joint effort will be integral to sustaining longer-term solutions. The bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress for humanitarian aid is commendable, and we urge Congress to maintain its robust funding in fiscal year 2017 spending."