A.  Title of agency or organization?

 International Rescue Committee

 B.  Where is home base?

 The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is headquartered in New York, New York USA.  Major offices and distribution centers are located in the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, West Africa, African Great Lakes, Horn of Africa, Balkans, Middle East, Caucasus, and Asia.

 C.  Date founded?

 An American branch of the International Relief Association (IRA) was founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, to assist German opponents of Adolph Hitler.  In 1942 the IRA joined forces with the Emergency Rescue Committee and became the International Rescue Committee. 


 D.  Names of key spokespersons/officers.

 The IRC is governed by a volunteer, unpaid board of directors.  IRC Overseers provide advice on policy, advocacy, fundraising and public relations.

 Alan R. Batkin and Jonathan L. Wiesner are Co-Chairmen, Board of Directors

George Rupp is President and Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Directors is composed of sixteen individuals from around the world, including H.R.H. Princess Firyal of Jordan, Tom Brokaw, and Morton I. Abramowitz


 E.  What/who is key constituency or audience?

 The IRC currently works in 25 countries.  There are an estimated 35 million refugees and displaced people worldwide.  The IRC is unique in that it is the only aid organization that not only provides humanitarian assistance, but helps refugees permanently resettle.

 F.  What are the agency’s main activities?

 Implement global and humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced persons and help refugees and immigrants permanently resettle.  IRC provided emergency assistance for Tsunami victims by supplying water, food, shelter, sanitation and medical care.  IRC also helps to rebuild lives by providing financial assistance, education and training.  The IRC resettles thousands of refugees annually in the U.S. through a network of offices – one is located in Phoenix.  Immigration services include Information, Direct Services, and Advocacy.  A few examples are:

·  Immigration orientation to newly arriving refugees

·  Distribute “Immigration Matters” handbook to refugees

·  Family Reunification

·  Employment Authorization Document

·   Assist with INS interviews

 Access the web site below for a comprehensive list of services.


 G.  Mission Statement of IRC

 “The International Rescue Committee serves refugees and communities victimized by oppression or violent conflict worldwide.  Founded in 1933, the IRC is committed to freedom, human dignity, and self-reliance.  This commitment is expressed in emergency relief, protection of human rights, post-conflict development, resettlement assistance, and advocacy.”


 H. What are the key im/migration issues of concern to this agency?

 The IRC targets key policy makers and leaders at the United Nations and political leaders around the world.  The goal is to educate and bring attention to issues that effect refugees and immigrants.  Governments and international organizations, along with political groups, are lobbied to influence policies that address the reasons for conflicts, help to reduce the flow of refugees, and to provide adequate resources to meet the needs of refugees and immigrants.  The United States, for example, is being urged to increase funding for disaster and refugee assistance.  The IRC is also pressuring the U.S. to loosen refugee admission standards.  Current policies limit the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States.


 I.  What appears to be the most common informational basis for statements issued, press releases, reports etc.?

 Refugee resettlement and worldwide emergency relief.




 J.  Any publications?


 K.  Newspaper article citing the IRC. 


 In Arizona, there are 40,000 refugees who come from at least 70 countries, from Afghanistan to Sierra Leone.  “Unlike legal immigrants, refugees leave their homeland out of necessity to avoid persecution,” said Scott Hawthornwaite, an Area Agency on Aging director.  “Because a family member sponsors legal immigrants, they have a support system.”

 “Organizations trying to educate the public about refugees,”Arizona Republic, 15 June 2004.

 L.  Other issues of interest?

For more information about the Phoenix, Arizona offices acess the website:


 M.  Is the agency noticeably pro or con immigration?

The International Rescue Committee is pro-immigration.  Few organizations can match IRC’s impact and influence on the issues of the world’s refugees and immigrants.

 N.  IRC web site.












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