Mercy Corps: Preventing Conflict is Key to Reducing Massive Civilian Displacement

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To solve the refugee crisis, world leaders must break cycles of violence

Simply put, lifesaving, short-term aid is not enough.

The global organization Mercy Corps calls on President Obama and other world leaders to take bold action against one of the world’s most intractable challenges: the largest-scale displacement of people since World War II.

“Simply put, lifesaving, short-term aid is not enough,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps. “The time is now for President Obama to exert his political muscle to break cycles of violence, alleviate suffering and allow refugees to live productive, dignified lives.”

On September 19, the United Nation’s General Assembly holds an all-day Summit on Refugees and Migrants. The following day President Obama will host a Leaders’ Summit on Refugees.

“We applaud the Obama Administration for its leadership in convening a summit to address the needs of tens of millions of refugees,” says Keny-Guyer. “Mercy Corps urges the U.S. and partner countries to use this upcoming opportunity in New York to commit to stemming the violence that’s driving so many families to flee in the first place.”

Specifically, Mercy Corps calls upon world leaders to adopt the following commitments at these summits:
1.    Reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to end violence and commit to doubling conflict prevention and mitigation funding.
2.    Unlock the economic potential of refugees by announcing an “Economic Bridges Initiative” in which the U.S. and other countries commit to incentivizing better integration of refugees by host nations.
3.    Support adolescent refugees in crisis through a Next Generation Fund, which includes targeted psychosocial support, promotion of life skills and commitments to formal and non-formal educational opportunities.

A new Mercy Corps report highlights examples from Mercy Corps peacebuilding programs, including those in Central African Republic and Jordan, which demonstrate how investments in community-led conflict mitigation can lead to more peaceful communities. Mercy Corps currently implements $75 million in targeted conflict mitigation and prevention activities to stem violence. To view Mercy Corps’ policy recommendations on these issues, click here.

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Christy Delafield
Mercy Corps
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Amy Fairbairn
Mercy Corps
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