Approximately half of immigrants in the US are from Mexico and other Latin American countries. The majority are fleeing due to desperate social and economic issues within their countries.
JRS/USA works closely with JRS/Mexico on a recently developed program, called Caminar Contigo. This program works to address and respond to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced people at our shared border.
The prolonged conflict between the Colombian government and guerrilla groups has left over 3 million people displaced in their own country. Colombia is also struggling to absorb the influx of more than 1 million Venezuelans who have fled the political and economic situation in their country.
JRS started working in Colombia in 1995, providing services to over 20,000 displaced people every year since then. In 2016, JRS Colombia began assisting thousands of Venezuelans seeking refuge in Colombia.
More than 1 million forced migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe in 2015. In the past 5 years, almost 18,000 people have died trying to make the crossing.
JRS is present in 18 countries in Europe. In Italy, we respond to the needs of 30,000 forcibly displaced people every year, 25% of the annual influx of forced migrants arriving in the country. JRS Italy has a strong presence the Rome, but also serves people in Catania and Palermo, two main cities in Sicily close to the main disembarkation points.
Venezuela Humanitarian Crisis
In mid-2014, world oil prices tumbled, slashing the country’s revenues and imports, and causing shortages of food and medicine. Over 2.3 million Venezuelans out of an estimated 32 million have left their country since 2014.
JRS is assisting Venezuelans in several neighboring countries. In Venezuela itself, JRS helped 11,337 people in 2017 by providing food, shelter, and support for children to remain in school despite the limited access to basic goods.
Syrian Civil War
Over 5.6 million people have fled Syria since 2011, seeking safety in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and beyond. Millions more are displaced inside Syria as the war continues.
JRS Syria was founded in 2008 in response to the growing number of Iraqi refugees. When the civil war erupted in 2011, JRS Syria began serving internally displaced Syrians, providing health services, education, child protection, livelihood training, and emergency aid in areas where no other NGO could go. Since then, JRS has provided an average of 18,000 meals daily in Aleppo alone. JRS’s programs in Lebanon and Jordan are serving over 20,000 people, the majority of whom are Syrians.
The War in Darfur, Sudan
The war in the Darfur region of Sudan has killed 200,000 people and displaced millions more. Today, more than 2.6 million IDPs remain in Darfur, while more than 250,000 are living in refugee camps in Chad.
JRS began operating in Chad in 2006. Currently, we oversee education programs for refugees in 12 camps in eastern Chad, serving 76,000 people – about 17% of the total refugee population in Chad. 56% of the refugees are children; JRS’s education programs are aimed at ensuring that they do not become a lost generation.
Under the Baathist regime that seized power in 1968, large sectors of the Kurdish and Shia population were displaced because of repression by the central government. The 2003 invasion by the U.S., and the rise of ISIS, displaced thousands more. Currently, about 2.6 million people (1 out of every 18 Iraqis) is internally displaced.
Since 2014, JRS implemented projects in seven locations, and is currently serving almost 75,000 people, mainly through psychosocial support projects.
JRS builds on the Jesuit experience in giving people the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
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