IOM, UNHCR announce temporary suspension of resettlement travel for refugees due to COVID-19

On March 17th, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced a temporary suspension of resettlement travel for refugees to their resettlement destinations. 

As a reminder that there are still things we can do to learn, act, and welcome refugees already here, Church World Service has created a helpful Community Sponsor Tool Kit. You might consider some of these ideas from their Welcoming Refugees Remotely: Post Arrival document:

  • In partnership with the resettlement office, set up a Skype/WhatsApp video account between yourself and a newly arrived refugee family. This will assist newly arrived families in practicing English as many ESL classes are closed, it will provide social integration, as well as ease the cultural adjustment. Set a scheduled time (every other day or weekly) when you will meet so the refugee knows they can count on you.  
  • Have your children color pictures and send them via snail mail to the clients you are sponsoring. Children especially enjoy getting mail.  
  • Consider asking what groceries the family needs and then have them delivered directly to the refugee’s home. Fruits, vegetables, rice, bread, milk and eggs are a few ideas.

To learn more about what it means to be a refugee and the process of resettlement, please visit our website for more information.

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