International Rescue Committee 2004 Annual Report
The IRC's Impact
In 2004, IRC humanitarian aid programs restored hope and opportunity for more than 15 million conflict-affected individuals around the world, and millions more were helped by the 5,600 local organizations and community groups that the IRC supports. Here's a look at some of the IRC's most recent achivements:
- More than 4.3 million people gained access to clean water and sanitation through our environmental health programs.
- Over 263,000 children, more than half girls, attended classes taught by IRC-trained teachers in schools rehabilitated or supported by the IRC.
- Nearly 50,000 people benefited from vocational training and business startup assistance that helped them find sustainable employment and economic security.
- More than 4 million people received primary health care and reproductive health services from IRC doctors, nurses and community health workers at IRC-supported clinics. Our health education programs, including HIV/AIDS prevention, reached some two million people.
- Nearly 15,000 survivors of sexual violence received counseling, medical care and psychosocial assistance. We provided prevention education to some 330,000 men, women and adolescents.
- IRC child protection teams reunited over 8,300 separated children and former child soldiers with their families and relatives and provided specialized care for an additional 9,300 vulnerable children and adolescents.
- In the United States, the IRC helped 20,700 refugees and asylees settle into their homes, schools and communities and move toward economic independence. IRC programs provided 100 victims of trafficking with legal aid and support services.
The IRC's Ratings
The IRC was again awarded high marks by charity watchdog groups and respected publications for the efficient use of its financial support and the effectiveness of its work.
- The Forbes 2004 Investment Guide selected the IRC as one of 10 "gold star charities that shine".
- The IRC was awarded an A+ by the American Institute of Philanthropy. In addition, the IRC was listed as meeting every standard of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.
The IRC's sufficiency
- New York
From the President
Iam based pleased to present this report about the work of the International Rescue Committee. For more than 70 years, we have operated with a single-minded purpose: to serve vulnerable people uprooted by war, civil confict, or persecution based on their religion, ethnicity, or opposition to tyranny. We provide emergency aid during the acute phase of a humanitarian crisis as well as longer-term assistance after the confict ends. The need for our services is great: it is estimated that there are 35 million uprooted people in the world. Some 12 million are refugees - people who fled across an international border. Another 23 million are internally displaced people - those who fled their communities but remain inside their own country.
We also respond to natural disasters when they strike places in which we are already providing assistance. Such was the case in Aceh, Indonesia, where since 2001 we have been aiding the population uprooted by a civil confict. When the earthquake and tsunami devastated the province last December 26, we responded immediately, increasing the size of our staff tenfold, to some 200. We delivered the same sort of aid we have long provided in refugee crises - emergency health care, water and sanitation, and protection of children. And now we are working with the Acehenese to help them rebuild their communities and their livelihoods.
Although the tsunami captured the world's attention in recent months, severe humanitarian crises also affect other parts of the world, including Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Uganda, West Africa and Chechnya. We are conducting substantial aid programs in all of these places and speaking out to ensure they are not ignored by policy makers and the news media.
Our advocacy on behalf of the people of Congo has been particularly effective. In December 2004, the IRC released its fourth survey of mortality in Congo. It demonstrated that despite some improvement since our previous survey, an astounding number of Congolese - 31,000 monthly - were still dying from preventable causes that are a byproduct of the confict that began in August 1998. While we are pleased that the survey has focused more attention on Congo, the international community needs to do far more to end the loss of life.
Darfur, too, remains a source of shame for the nations of the world. Individuals, private organizations, and governments have provided humanitarian aid for the two million people driven from their homes in Darfur. But the efforts of the international community to end the violence have been woefully inadequate.
There is, then, much to be concerned about and much that requires us to be vigorous advocates. Even so, you will find this annual report delivers a message of hope, not despair. In emergencies, our help for the uprooted shows them that the world cares and that they are not forgotten. And in countries where confict has ended, we are helping the displaced to start anew and rebuild their lives and their communities.
On behalf of the IRC and those whom we serve, I am pleased to express gratitude to all of you who are our supporters. Your generosity is indispensable to the accomplishments detailed in this report. Thank you ever so much.
What is the IRC?
Founded in 1933, the International Rescue committee is a world leader in relief, rehabilitation, protection, post-conflict development, resettlement services and advocacy for those uprooted or affected by violent conflict and oppression. At work in 25 countries, the IRC derivers lifesaving and in emergencies, rebuilds shattered communities, cares for war-traumatized children, rehabilitates health care, water and sanitation systems, reunites separated families, restores lost livelihoods, establishes schools, trains teachers, strengthens the capacity of local organizations and istitutions, develops civil society and good-governance initiatives and promotes human rights. For refugees and asylum seekers afforded sanctuary in the United States, IRC offices across the country provide a range of assistance aimed at helping new arrivals get settled, integrate and acquire the skills to become self-sufficient. Committed to restoring dignity and self-reliance, the IRC is a global symbol of hope and renewal for those who have taken flight in search of feedom.
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