At the launch of its secretariat presence in Amman, Jordan, on 31 August, ACT Alliance called for the protection and support of refugees in accordance with the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, Refugee Protocol, regional laws and standards, United Nations resolutions and international human rights and humanitarian law.
ACT Alliance members are working with refugees and internally displaced people on all continents.
As the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year, the Alliance said the prevailing refugee situation in the Middle East has caught many governments in the north lacking the will or the capacity to address it.
Only decisive global response will adequately address the refugee crisis, the alliance has said.
“Granting support to refugees and ensuring their dignity is primarily a responsibility of governments,” said Gunilla Hallonsten, International Director of ACT member Church of Sweden, at the event. “This crisis of global proportions will not be addressed in the Middle East alone. It requires global action and above all willingness of all to help the affected people at their country of origin, in transit and wherever they would be seeking refuge.”
Average length of stay in a refugee camp is over 17 years
Members of the alliance highlighted that impacts of this global crisis are being felt in people`s lives and livelihoods, on local markets, in employment and social and power relations that determine people’s future opportunities, adding that the realities of aid are also changing while the international system is overwhelmed and under-resourced in responding to the crisis.
“A key task for churches and relief organisations is to offer the perspective of hope to the refugees and affected populations,” said Ramzi Zananiri, member of the Governing Board of ACT Alliance representing the Middle East.
In a panel discussion during the launch reception, panelists reminded the audience that the average length of stay in a refugee camp is over 17 years. ACT Alliance has been calling for a greater investment in resilience and accountability to disaster affected populations.
Speaking about the launch of the ACT secretariat presence in Amman, Gorden Simango, Regional Representative for the Middle East, said: “Together we are stronger,” explaining that ACT Alliance members would be intensifying their collaboration to meet the needs.
ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna, moved by his visit in the Zaatari refugee camp earlier the same day, congratulated and thanked ACT Alliance partners and members for their support of the alliance’s work in the Middle East.