SILVER SPRING, MD (December 14, 2023) –Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) joins the 2023 Global Refugee Forum (GRF), taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from December 13 to 15. The global event brings together governments, advocates, and international organizations representing refugees to address the challenges and establish tangible actions, as well as solutions that will enhance the lives of refugees and host communities worldwide.
Philippe Lazzarini, UNWRA Commissioner General, addresses the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva. © UNHCR/Will Swanson
According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, nearly 90 million people around the world, have been displaced and forced to flee their homes, or nations to become refugees because of conflict, persecution, or natural disaster, and 41 percent are children under the age of 18.
The 2023 GRF objectives to support the practical implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees include developing strategies to relieve pressures on host countries, expanding refugee self-reliance, increasing access to third-country solutions, and improving conditions in countries of origin so refugees can return safely and with dignity.
“Many people in an increasing number of countries worldwide see cross-border mobility as an effective mechanism for adapting to the different types of shocks being experienced today. The solution to the refugee challenge starts with me, with each of us. Everyone has a role to play in solving the refugee crisis,” shares Akintayo Odeyemi, ADRA’s director for the United Nations Liaison Office.
ADRA’s Role at GRF
ADRA has been actively serving and helping refugees for over 40 years by integrating health, education, livelihood projects, disaster preparedness, and recovery efforts. As a GRF expert in refugee humanitarian relief operations, ADRA is sharing experiences, best practices, and innovative approaches for dealing with refugee crises. Additionally, the non-profit agency is announcing a pledge to address statelessness in the Asia-Pacific region.
The global humanitarian agency is also participating in GRF Education Alliance meetings and hosting an exhibit on ADRA’s performance in education during emergencies. The display highlights ADRA’s achievements in advocacy and development projects that help refugee children stay in school during natural disasters, conflicts, and other emergencies
ADRA’s GRF History
At the 2019 GRF, the non-profit announced its global campaign Every Child. Everywhere. In School., in partnership with the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, to address the systems and barriers that prevent children from education. According to UN reports, refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee students.
“Through our Every Child. Everywhere. In School. campaign, we were able to collect over 1.3 million signatures from community leaders, educators, and decision-makers worldwide who are committed to providing education to children in vulnerable communities, especially kids on the move and displaced, regardless of race, age, nationality, religion, or origin,” says Imad Madanat, ADRA’s vice president for humanitarian affairs and network standards. This initiative also led to increased government education funding and improved policies, as well as created new research and partnerships, expanded education training, and improved community education programs. ADRA is dedicated to working together with GRF partners to discover transformative solutions for refugees and host communities.”
The global humanitarian organization also offered measures such as child safety procedures, psychological support, and academic help for internally displaced (IDP) and refugee children during the 2019 event. ADRA carried out these projects in Peru, Mali, Thailand, Syria, and Sudan, and committed over a million dollars to life-saving interventions in several South American nations to assist Venezuelan migrants.
ADRA’s Global Support Appeal
ADRA plans to broaden its GRF partnership base for refugee care to continue executing initiatives that improve integration into host communities. ADRA also relies on donor contributions to provide the resources necessary for refugee and displaced families and individual people to have fulfilling lives.
Visit ADRA.org/angels this holiday season and become an ADRA Angel. Support ADRA’s global humanitarian efforts that benefit those who are cast out from their homes and homelands.