Voices from the Field – IRC Blog

International Rescue Committee (IRC) Refugee, Staff & Volunteer Blog

Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Four IRC Aid Workers Killed in Afghanistan

Posted by The IRC on 13 August, 2008

Afghanistan map
Four International Rescue Committee aid workers were killed this morning in an ambush in Logar Province in Afghanistan:

Mohammad Aimal, 25, of Kabul, Afghanistan.  He had worked as a driver for the IRC since 2002.

Shirley Case, 30, of Williams Lake, British Columbia.  She joined the IRC on June 8 in Afghanistan to manage education programs designed to meet the needs of children with disabilities.

Nicole Dial, 30, a dual citizen of Trinidad and the United States.  Her permanent residence was in Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.  She joined the IRC May 21 in Afghanistan as a coordinator in the agency’s programs for children.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Kirk, Ph.D., 40, of Outrement, Quebec, a dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom.  An education-programs technical advisor, she had worked for the IRC since 2004.  She provided support for the agency’s children’s education programs worldwide. 

A second Afghan driver employed by the IRC was seriously wounded in the attack and has been hospitalized.

“We are stunned and profoundly saddened by this tragic loss,” says George Rupp, president of the IRC.  “These extraordinary individuals were deeply committed to aiding the people of Afghanistan, especially the children who have seen so much strife.  Words are inadequate to express our sympathy for the families and loved ones of the victims and our devoted team of humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan.”

The full latest IRC statement is available here. We’ll post updates as we get them.

For more information:

Current IRC programs in Afghanistan

More about the IRC’s work in Afghanistan over the years

Current IRC programs for Afghan refugees in Pakistan


Posted in Asia, news, refugees | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

“Rape is a tool of war”

Posted by The IRC on 24 June, 2008

Congo courtesy Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone
Photo: Democratic Republic of Congo, courtesy Kevin Sites hotzone.yahoo.com
The International Rescue Committee has released a statement hailing a U.N. Security Council resolution that affirms that sexual violence against women and girls in conflict zones can be a war crime.

“It is gratifying to see that rape and other forms of violence against women have finally been identified by the Security Council as the appalling tools of war that they are,” said Anne Richard, the IRC’s vice president for Government Relations and Advocacy.

You can read the full statement here and learn how the IRC is assisting rape survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other conflict zones here.

Posted in news, war, women | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

U.S. “shortchanges” Iraqi refugees

Posted by Kate Sands Adams on 23 June, 2008

Young Iraqi Refugee Joro Ose IRC
Photo: Jiro Ose
Yesterday the Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece by International Rescue Committee board member Morton Abramowitz, who sees a lack of concern for innocent Iraqis who have been forced from their country by U.S. actions. He said:

“Our war has displaced 4 million Iraqis since 2003, including 2 million now living beyond its borders in tough conditions. Yet we have allowed this vast, potentially destabilizing refugee burden to be borne mostly by Syria and Jordan. We have provided some aid to host countries but none to Syria, and we have allowed only a trickle of Iraqis (fewer than 10,000 so far) to resettle in the U.S. — far fewer than have been taken in by Sweden.”

Refugees need to be able to return and rebuild their lives and their country, Abramowitz said — but until that time comes, they need plenty of help. He urged the U.S. to provide the refugees greater financial assistance and take in more refugees, particularly those who cannot go home.

To learn more and find out how to get involved, visit our special report on the Iraqi refugee crisis.

Posted in emergencies, MiddleEast, news, refugees, UnitedStates, war | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Refugee rights are human rights” [Video]

Posted by Kate Sands Adams on 20 June, 2008

Video: UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres shared this video message for World Refugee Day, today, June 20.

Posted in news, refugees | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Iraqi refugee crisis on HuffPost

Posted by Kate Sands Adams on 19 June, 2008

Irqi refugee familiy in Jordan Melissa Winkler IRC
Photo: Melissa Winkler/The IRC
IRC emergency communications director Melissa Winkler discussed the failure of the Iraqi refugee crisis to become an issue in the presidential campaign in Off the Bus, a political blog appearing on the Huffington Post. “It’s a huge disappointment that this has not been a larger issue in the campaign to date,” she said. “It’s really been hardly mentioned.”

You can read Melissa’s posts from her visits to Iraqi refugee families in Jordan here and learn more about how the IRC is helping Iraqi refugees here.

Posted in emergencies, MiddleEast, news, refugees, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »