International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a non-governmental and nonsectarian international relief and developmental organization that is based in United States. It has operations in more than 40 countries. The organization aims to provide rescue and shelter to people who have lost their homes and are abandoned due to any kind of natural disaster, conflict or oppression. The organization consists of first responders, relief workers, international development experts, educators and health care providers.
The organization provides various kinds of services the world over, depending on the need of the hour. There are special IRC settlement offices that look into the needs of the various refugees that have come to United States seeking sanctuary. The offices help in assisting these people to settle down and adjust to the new environment. They also provide adequate skills so that these people may become self-sufficient.
There is an emergency response team that operates under the IRC. The specialist team assesses survival needs and arrange for a proper response to the situation by deciding on the specific action. This team consists of logisticians, doctors and coordinators in addition to human right activists who look into the needs of children. These experts prevent sexual violence and rape.
The health programs that the ORC carries out reduce illnesses and death rates during emergencies. The focus is on primary health care, environmental health child survival, blindness treatment and prevention. There are also gender based violence programs and the IRC fights against all the various crimes perpetrated against women and girls. These programs try to reduce the level of psychological damage that is done. At a larger level they work towards changing the mindset of communities that discriminate on the basis of gender.
Some of the other areas that the IRC is involved in include post conflict development, programs for children, resettling refugees and advocacy.
The International Rescue Committee is an organization that makes a difference during the times of horrible human crisis. They help people to arise from the dust and ashes and rebuild their lives from scratch, ensuring that the least amount of physical, psychological and emotional damage is done. The kind of care that the IRC provides is life changing and can help refugees to get back on their feet after a period when everything seems lost.
Working in more than 40 countries today, the International Rescue Committee brings dignity to people who have lost all hope. It takes people from "harm to home". The International Rescue Committee has a commitment to arrive on the scene of the crisis within 72 hours. They come prepared with supplies, tools and expertise so that they can help people in the middle of all the chaos that is taking place. They believe that they should stay on the premises of the emergency or the crisis for as long as they are needed. Also while they are at the location, they take care of emergency matters and continue to manage affairs till they get under control.
The organization also believes that they need to provide solutions that are long term so that the people affected by the crisis can become self-sufficient and move ahead with life. They do not believe in providing immediate and short lived assistance alone.
In addition to that, the International Rescue Committee promises to use the funds that they get from the donors wisely so that they can make every penny count. Charity watchdogs have always awarded great marks to this organization for efficient use of the dollar. Ninety cents out of every dollar that is donated is used in programs and in providing assistance to people in need.
The America branch of what was then called the International relief Association was founded in 1933 on the suggestion of Albert Einstein. This was done to assist the various Germans who were suffering under the power of Adolf Hitler. Over time there were refugees that came in from Mussolini's Italy and Franco's Spain too.
European refugees were helped by Emergency Rescue Committee (ERC) by enabling them to move out from Vichy France where they were trapped. The two organizations came together to form International Relief and Rescue Committee, that was later shortened to International Rescue Committee.
A large number of emergency relief programs were initiated after the World War II and hospital and children centers were created and when the Iron Curtains dropped, IRC was instrumental in ensuring a resettlement program for East European refugees.
In the 1950's IRC started Project Berlin that provided food to the people of West Berlin who lived under Soviet oppression. The IRC began the resettlement program for Cubans in the 1960's. These were the people who were trying to get away from Castro's dictatorship. The other people the IRC helped during this time were the Haitians who were fleeing the Duvalier regime.
In the 1970's the organization achieved international exposure and became active across various countries where people were trying to flee conflict and oppression in Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guatemala, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Uganda, India and the Soviet Union. In the next decade the IRC started services to aid Afghans trying to flee to Pakistan and less than a decade later they were helping these Afghans resettle back into Afghanistan. During the 80's Palestinians and Lebanese refugees found the IRC centers to be a safe haven post the war of Lebanon. Health care programs were started in Poland and the Women's Refugee Commission was created too.
Other times that where the IRC has played a role includes the Gulf War, civil war in Rwanda, Chechnya conflicts and they played a key role in fighting the various issues that emanated from the September 11th attacks.
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