Globally, 65 million people have now been forced from their homes – more than half of them children.
Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds said Refugee Week was an opportunity to shift the debate in Australia and focus on new solutions.
“The global refugee crisis is one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of our time and we all have a role to play in solving it,”
Mr Ronalds said.
“As people are watching the devastating images from places such as Yemen, Syria, Cox’s Bazaar on their television every night, they’re asking how they can help.
“As a wealthy nation, Australia has a duty to help tackle the global refugee crisis, and an innovative way of doing this is to harness the generosity of spirit of the Australian community.”
In 2017, only 93,200 places were available in resettlement countries, accounting for fewer than 0.5 per cent of all refugees globally.
To increase the number of refugees who can find safety in Australia each year through community investment, the Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI) has recently been created by Save the Children along with the Refugee Council of Australia, Amnesty International, Rural Australians for Refugees, the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce and the Welcome to Australia initiative.
CRSI proposes a community-led model that supplements the existing government-funded resettlement program and welcomes refugees into the Australian community in a cost effective, dignified and non-discriminatory way.
Mr Ronalds said the initiative was a tangible way for everyday Australians to help people who had been forced to flee their homes overseas.
“We encourage the Australian Government and the community to consider this new approach which could immeasurably improve the lives of people who have been displaced,”
To learn more about CRSI’s vision for community sponsorship in Australia visit: ausrefugeesponsorship.com.au
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