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Recent events on the world stage in Afghanistan and Haiti are bringing up a number of issues that should strike a familiar tone in the world of philanthropy. When commentators and leaders criticize the U.S. government for not investing in a proper exit plan that includes Afghan allies or wonder how or international relief agencies will overcome the deep mistrust that their previous efforts created among local Haitian residents, it’s not hard to see the parallels with some of the domestic spending efforts of resource-rich grantmakers and foundations.
We have a responsibility to do much better by refugees and asylum seekers, and listen to refugee experts like Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants and We Are All America at National Partnership for New Americans. If the pro-immigrant and refugee movement had the funding it needs and deserves, we’d be better equipped to respond to these crises, and philanthropy should lead the way in that support. It is important for philanthropy to resource those organizations advocating for refugees. To openly ask and follow what those in the reproductive access, pro-immigrant and refugee movements say they need to better serve those on the ground. To not just wield their financial power in the moment, but to help build that of these groups by providing consistent, dependable multi-year support after the news cycle turns.
How can funders help? Here are some links from NCRP’s nonprofit allies and members that provide actions funders can take to support refugees and asylum seekers now and beyond the current crises:
- Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees provided six ways for philanthropy to support victims of both Afghanistan and Haiti, all of which included links to resources and organizations focused on supporting immigrants and refugees.
- Refugee Congress released a statement, calling on the Biden Administration to act swiftly on the crisis in Afghanistan and “evacuate Afghan allies and their families, including at-risk women, children and members of the LGBTQ+ community.” “As an organization built and led by former refugees, asylees and other vulnerable migrants who had to flee violence, unsafe conditions and persecution, Refugee Congress knows firsthand what it’s like to depend on the U.S. to fulfill its promise in providing safety and protection.”
- Haitian Bridge Alliance put out a statement condemning the Biden Administration’s decision to resume deportation and expulsion flights during this time. Co-founder and Executive Director Guerline Jozef wrote, “My question is whether it is the goal of the U.S. government to continue to contribute to the destabilization of Haiti?” noting the administration’s response as “a clear example of external violence that continues to deepen the instability in Haiti.” Haitian Bridge Alliance encouraged individuals and the U.S government to donate to relief organizations that are directly helping the Haitian community and follow a “human rights approach that fosters accountability, transparency, participation of Haitians, capacity building and non-discrimination.”
Read the full article about long-term funding relief beyond crises by Avery Crocker at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.