Diocese work presented at the UN
The Anglican Communion recently presented work done by the Diocese in Europe at the United Nations’ Global Refugee Forum.
Meeting in December 2023, UNHCR – the UN organisation heading up work with refugees – coordinated a vast gathering of the world’s states and NGO bodies to discuss the rising tide of people forced to flee their homes, the problems facing refugees, and to get stakeholders to make pledges and commitments to helping people on the move.
The Diocese in Europe is of course on the frontline of these refugee flows, and some of the work being done across the Diocese was presented. With help from USPG, we gave information on:
the work in Calais to help migrants and those seeking to provide aid and relief;
the support, food and holistic care being provided in Bucharest;
the Community Kitchen in Brussels and the work done to provide meals to refugees;
the education and social support provided in Budapest;
the humanitarian plans and aid distribution in Helsinki
The Global Refugee Forum saw some stark statistics presented: 1/3rd of Ukraine has been displaced; 90% of refugees are in just 40 countries, which themselves are poor; and refugees can lose decades of their lives, sitting and waiting to be processed. Yet funding is dire: as of December 2023, UNHCR was still waiting for $400 million in promised funding from states, while Jordan – still home to huge numbers of Syrians – has only received 23% of the money the world promised to help the country.
Thankfully the UN is aware of the importance of faith groups, and seeking ways to support those doing work on the ground. The Global Refugee Forum also provided a space in which connections could be made with other organisations doing refugee work, and so we hope that better cooperation and mutual support of efforts across Europe will result in improved care for those refugees who have already suffered so much.
Revd Glen Ruffle, the Geneva representative of the Anglican Communion, said “It is so important that we let the world know what is happening: our ministry to refugees is Christ’s love in action; it is a reminder of how much worse the world would be without Christians pushing forward the kingdom of God. We hope we can build relations with UNHCR and find ways to mutually support each other as we continue to live out our love for Jesus in serving those who have so little.”
If you are heading a refugee work and part of the Diocese in Europe, email@example.com would be pleased to hear from you and might be able to help connect you to other organisations.