World Leaders must grasp the opportunity to alleviate the suffering of millions at Global Refugee Forum – World Vision

  • As a Christian organisation World Vision remembers that Jesus and his parents were refugees; forced to flee persecution, like many are today
  • The Child focussed NGO urges world leaders to make a real difference and choose action over words
  • Refugees must be part of decision making processes that affect them, however, refugee participation does not feature strongly enough at the forum

The first ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) will be held 16-18 December 2019, in Geneva and will bring world leaders together in an attempt to strengthen a collective response to protecting refugee families and children on the move. International Christian organisation, World Vision, believes that this is an opportunity that must not be squandered.

Andrew Morley, World Vision International President, said: “More children than ever have been forced from their homes, their lives shattered by conflict, violence and disaster. Now on the move, they are plunged into a chaotic world of uncertainty and vulnerable to abuse.

“I recently met eight-year-old Mehair from Syria, and was shocked to see him literally covered in bandages where he had been beaten while begging on the streets. Across the other side of the world, on the border with Colombia and Venezuela, I met children who had endured rape and are now living with the scars of horrendous abuse.”

“Now is the time for world leaders to come together and take action to stop this suffering. The Global Refugee Forum provides them with this opportunity. Children will ultimately judge the actions and commitments we make.”

 “During the season of Christmas we remember how Jesus was born, himself, as a child refugee. As a Christian organisation World Vision sees the face of Jesus in every refugee forced to flee their homes. We all have a duty to protect children, who like Jesus, have been forced to flee their homes due to no fault of their own.” said Mr Morley.

Children represent more than 52% of the total refugee population and are profoundly affected by displacement often losing their entire childhoods, however child protection remains noticeably under represented at the GRF and represents a major concern for World Vision.

“It is also important to continuously remind ourselves that the Global Compact on Refugees and not the GRF, which was established to review its progress, is not solely a State or UN-led process, they are Refugee-led and Refugee owned processes. Refugee participation has not featured strongly enough. We must premise the concept of Nothing About Us Without Us throughout the GCR implementation.” Said Marco Grazia, World Vision’s Director for Child Protection, Humanitarian Action and Education in Emergencies.

World Vision will be making pledges across 4 of the 6 pledging areas including; Education in Emergencies and Early Childhood Development, Child Protection, working with Faith Actors on the Frontline for Children on the Move; in addition to a number of inter-agency coalition pledges in the areas of Poverty Alleviation and Livelihoods, Child Protection, and Cash-based Programming.

Education is a key focus for World Vision. Children who experience adversity early in life have an increased risk for later psychological and physical health problems. Experience has proven that early childhood development and education programmes can prevent the trauma that young refugee children often endure.

“We also know that caregivers are crucial for providing nurturing care and protection to infants and young children. Parents and families are the main providers of nurturing care and protection for young children. That is why it is essential that everything is done to ensure that families are kept together and children are not separated from their parents.”

“The Global Refugee Forum sets the stage for real and effective action that will not only protect refugee children but also ensure that they are given the opportunities in life that all children have the right to; especially education. Refugee children deserve a childhood, just like every other child in the world does. World Leaders must come together now and ensure that that everything is done to turn this aspiration into a reality.”  concluded Mr Grazia.


Editors Notes:

About World Vision: 
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision

Spokespersons, photos and video are available on request.          

World Vision Standalone Pledges and Interagency Pledges are as follows:

As World Vision shifts its focus to a greater emphasis on fragile contexts, the organisation is adapting the way it programmes and  fundraises to meet the challenges of working with the most vulnerable, including children on the move.  By 2023, World Vision in at least 12 countries will:

  1. In line with government objectives, and reflecting the Nurturing Care Framework, enhance our ECDE programmes by learning from current implementation in fragile and humanitarian contexts to ensure children and caregivers access quality, family-centred, sustainable ECDE programming.
  2. Provide quality PSS/MHPSS and referral with a focus on caregivers and children with disabilities. 
  3. Involve children, parents and caregivers of host and refugee communities in design, implementation and assessment of all Education programmes, as well as in joint advocacy efforts.
  4. Ensure our Education programmes are fully integrated with child protection, protection, MHPSS and gender programming; and where possible, pilot cash-based approaches.
  5. Ensure our EiE programmes (formal and non-formal) align with INEE MS, CPMS, national standards, and fully support national system strengthening, focusing on sustainable refugee inclusion in quality education systems and within nationally accredited programmes 
  • All our programs take into consideration and focus on the specific needs of girls, boys, women, men, and people with disabilities

Jobs and Livelihoods – WV Interagency Pledge with the Poverty Alleviation Coalition

World Vision pledge to support 43,000 refugees on a pathway towards self-reliance in 8 countries

World Vision International is a member of The Poverty Alleviation Coalition, launched in July 2019 and consisting of UNHCR, The World Bank Partnership for Economic Inclusion (PEI) and 13 NGOs. The NGOs are BOMA Project, BRAC, Caritas Switzerland, Concern Worldwide, the Danish Refugee Council, HIAS, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), GOAL, Mercy Corps, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Trickle Up, Village Enterprise, & World Vision. 

  1. The Coalition will work towards the common vision of increasing self-reliance, economic and social inclusion of refugees & host community households by sustainably increasing income-earning opportunities. Specifically, the Coalition aims to alleviate the poverty of 500,000 households (refugees and hosts) in 35 countries within the next 5 years (2020-2025). The Coalition will use the well-proven ‘Graduation Approach’ through an 18-36 month programme.  
  2. World Vision’s aim is to support 85,000 those refugees on a pathway towards self-reliance in 22 countries at a cost of $113 Million over five years
  3. World Vision’s Pledge is to scale up programmes to support 43,000 of those refugees across 8 countries to the value of $68 Million in collaboration with coalition partners in the following countries: Iraq, South Sudan, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia.

Cash – World Vision Inter-agency Pledging as part of the Collaborative Cash Delivery Network

Harmonised tools, approaches contributing to Health, Protection, Education, Livelihoods/market-based economy, durable solutions for Venezuelan migrants, refugees (esp. vulnerable children) and inclusive of vulnerable host community (sharing)

The Collaborative Cash Delivery (CCD) Network Colombia includes 8 NGO members operating across nine regions, maximising different strengths of actors. It commits delivering people-centric multi-purpose cash (MPCA) at scale in a coordinated, adaptable, harmonised, efficient way for improved impact, addressing critical needs of refugees, vulnerable migrants, host-communities.

  1. Efficient, safe data sharing: CCD commits to use single-data management system, avoiding duplication of beneficiaries, ensuring referrals. CCD commits to data protection and members will sign a common Data Sharing Agreement.
  2. Harmonized tools, approaches: With flexibility, speed in refugee response, CCD members will harmonise tools, processes, adopting same selection criteria for consistent, harmonised programming across Colombia. CCD members commit to learning through independent evaluations of CCD work, and VfM studies, monitor CCD data to improve selection criteria.
  3. Longer term solutions, integrated programming: CCD Colombia strives to deliver an integrated service package, complementing MPCA, with access to health, education, protection for vulnerable children, and livelihoods for their families, facilitating durable solutions, socio-economic integration based on do-no-harm-principle. CCD aims at reaching populations “at last mile”, covering gaps in refugee response, strengthening referral pathways (e.g. to Government-led social protection) reducing vulnerability, exclusion, exploitation- ensuring MPCA creates a cash eco-system with market-based approaches for jobs and livelihoods.

Faith Action for Children on the Move Coalition Interagency GRF Pledge

We commit to working together as inter-faith and non-faith actors in an effort to meet the needs and rights of CoM contributing to Protection Capacity & Burden & Responsibility Sharing. 

  1. Enhance capacity of local faith actors in at least 10 contexts to apply standards of child protection and safeguards; including the creation of safe spaces & specific supports for at-risk groups including young and adolescent girls and children with disabilities.
  2. Develop modules on spiritual (inter-faith) support for caregivers and faith actors:
    • Train faith actors on providing faith-sensitive psychosocial support in line with the inter-faith MHPSS guidelines developed in conjunction with UNHCR & a fully age, gender, and diversity approach.
    • Train aid actors on spiritual support and services available for CoM.
  3. Contribute to the continuum of protection by providing support for resettlement & complementary pathways with a specific focus on at-risk groups including unaccompanied minors.
  4. Generate and disseminate evidence about the activities and contributions of local faith actors on refugee and host community needs and rights and on engaging LFAS in the implementation of the GCR.
  5. Support, where possible, safe opportunities for interaction between children & young people from refugee & host communities to combat xenophobia & support solidarity.

**World Vision standalone pledging on Faith Action in Humanitarian Crises are currently being finalised.