Food, water, safety, access to basic healthcare and shelter are basic human rights. These are rights that we expect Governments and UN agencies to provide to all residents, and by and large we do not believe private philanthropy should have a primary role in funding these services. However, we have observed instances where rapid changes in displacement, often coupled with political challenges, leave refugee populations (and sometimes host communities) with gaps in critical services, necessitating private philanthropic intervention. The current elevated flows of refugees into Greece, and the dramatic displacement of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh starting in August 2017 are two prime examples of our decision to become involved.
On The Greek Islands of Lesvos and Samos, we partner with Help Refugees to distribute basic necessities to families and unaccompanied minors. Help Refugees has created a network of dozens of local partners to provide best-in-class support for humanitarian efforts throughout Greece.
Similarly, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, we partner with BRAC, a leading, Bangladesh-based INGO, and Humanity Rises, operator of a medical clinic and child life center serving over 30,000 Rohingya refugees.
Locally, we support the Boston Medical Center's (BMC) Immigrant and Refugee Health Center. Healthcare in America is not fully covered for those fleeing violence and actively seeking asylum, and through our partners at BMC, we help to ensure that asylum seekers amongst us are getting the physical and psychological care they need.
In addition to these investments, we have also made investments into four different refugee emergency funds fun by The International Rescue Committee (IRC), IsraAID, ALIMA and Edesia. These funds ensure that our partners have immediate access to funds which allow them to mobilize quickly during new migration crises, in advance of long-term funding which typically takes time to get approved and disbursed.
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