On the occasion of his first visit to Central Europe and of the 31st World Youth Day held in Kraków, Poland, Pope Francis called on Polish leaders to welcome refugees and migrants fleeing despair, conflicts and violations of their basic rights. In a speech celebrating the role of history for the wealth of humanity and spirituality, the Pope acknowledged the importance of tradition and heritage in establishing a productive dialogue between nations.
In order to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, ICMC expanded its activities through a water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) project recently implemented in the Munda refugee camp. Densely populated by Afghan refugees, the Munda village has so far received little assistance from humanitarian organizations.
On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the self-organized civil society Action Committee in New York City releases today a joint statement urging governments to step up to cooperate on responsibility-sharing solutions rather than existing commitments.
In order to provide better assistance and protection to migrants and refugees coming into the European Union through Greece, ICMC has recently scaled up its operations by recruiting and deploying 93 staff members, who will support the activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) in crucial locations across the country.
On the backdrop of increasingly strong nationalist and xenophobic movements gaining more and more support throughout the old continent, a publication jointly produced by ICMC Europe and FORIM in collaboration with CONCORD and Caritas Europa attempts to debunk a set of common myths on incoming refugees and migrants.
The brochure, which is titled “10 Myths on Migration and Development”, aims to deconstruct popular misconceptions by providing reliable facts and figures and thus countering negative assumptions.
The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) published today its Annual Report 2015, together with the Consolidated Financial Statements and Performance Report 2015. The Annual Report 2015 highlights ICMC’s activities and achievements during the past year, which witnessed a number of dramatic developments in migration and refugee movements, particularly from the Middle East.
Noura*, 75 years old, assists day and night her mother Aisha* who turned 100 this year. Aisha is ICMC’s oldest beneficiary. She received humanitarian assistance under an ECHO-funded program in Jordan. The two women live in Habakeh, a quiet village seven kilometers south of Irbid. Noura, who lost her father when she was just a child, comes from a farmers’ family whose resilience has been strengthened by the adversities of life.
Ahead of the African Union’s Summit to be held in Kigali (Rwanda) this week, H.E. Berhaneyesus D. Cardinal Souraphiel, Chairman of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), called upon all of us to pray for African leaders as they come together “to steer Africa to prosperity.” In his statement, Cardinal Souraphiel highlighted the role played by Eastern African countries in supporting refugees.
In his first solidarity visit as ICMC’s Secretary General, Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo participated in the Regional Conference on Human Mobility in the Great Lakes Countries, held in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In his speech addressed to the Catholic Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda, he underlined the urgent challenges posed to the global human family and to the Catholic Church, by the massive numbers of people on the move.
The civil society Action Committee, a global self-organized advocacy group of non-governmental networks working together in preparation for the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, has disseminated last week a set of baseline recommendations to the UN Member States as they begin discussing possible outcomes for the Summit.