The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development nongovernmental organization. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers emergency aid and long-term assistance to refugees and those displaced by war, persecution, or natural disaster. The IRC is currently working in over 40 countries and 27 U.S. cities where it resettles refugees and helps them become self-sufficient. It focuses mainly on health, education, economic wellbeing, power, and safety. The current President of the International Rescue Committee is former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband (2013–present).

Consisting of first responders, humanitarian relief workers, international development experts, health care providers, and educators, the IRC has assisted millions of people around the world since its founding in 1933. In 2016, 26 million people in more than 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities benefited from IRC programs.

Read more:


Policy, legislation and its implementation
IRC will support the development, piloting, uptake and implementation of the Inter-Agency Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. IRC will also support the uptake of the Guidelines by humanitarian stakeholders, humanitarian architecture and coordination mechanisms, leveraging its position as a major operational humanitarian actor that also supports inter-agency coordination mechanisms (e.g. the Global Protection Cluster and its Areas of Responsibility). 

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
IRC will dedicate technical expertise to the development of the IASC Guidelines, to be finalised by December 2018. IRC will support their piloting, implementation and uptake in 2019 and 2020, establishing links between the IASC Guidelines and global and national coordination mechanisms. Within the same timeframe, IRC will also look at adapting existing technical guidance in the above-mentioned sectors to address issues of Stigma and Discrimination in service delivery. 

Policy, legislation and its implementation
IRC will support persons with disabilities to enjoy full and equal human rights, fundamental freedoms and receive respect for their inherent dignity.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
IRC’s programming will strengthen the rights of persons with disabilities in Protection and Rule of Law systems in Tanzania, Burundi, El Salvador and Pakistan, with a potential expansion to Europe and Myanmar by 2021.

Representation and empowerment of persons with disabilities
IRC will invest in the full participation of people with disabilities,fostering knowledge among Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs) on humanitarian architecture and response mechanisms. IRC will support DPOs to have a voice in coordination mechanisms, join with other agencies at the centre of the humanitarian system and influence and shape the humanitarian strategies and interventions that affect them.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
The IRC will review its approaches to community participation, representation and engagement, looking at the involvement of DPOs in coordination mechanisms and Community-based Protection through training conducted in coordination with the Global Protection Cluster and the Child Protection Area of Responsibility. This will take place in four pilot countries until June 2019, with a potential expansion based on learning from this pilot experience.    

Stereotypes, attitudes and behaviours
IRC will contribute to shift the underlying harmful practices, behaviours and norms that limit the life of women, men, girls and boys with disabilities.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan 
From 2018 to 2021, the IRC will use innovative approaches and direct services in homes, pre-schools and skills training centres in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Sierra Leone and Pakistan to contribute to eliminate stigma, discrimination and violence against girls and boys with disabilities, by representing and celebrating diversity and promoting respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and their right to preserve their identities. 

Theme: Eliminate Stigma and Discrimination
Year: 2018

Additional resources and implementation
IRC will invest in inclusive education to enable all children with and without disabilities to access quality education and learn.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan 
From 2018 to 2021, Sesame Workshop and IRC will develop an inclusive and accessible locally-produced television programme in four countries that will introduce children with and without disabilities to characters and role models who understand their lives and experiences. The television programme will focus on essential early childhood concepts such as language, literacy, numeracy and socioemotional skills and model behaviours supporting respect and inclusion, and will be the basis for inclusive home and pre-school support activities.

Capacity building: teachers and staff
Please enter the exact wording of the commitment/s, including details of others who have supported its development (75 words limit): IRC will support training and capacity building to introduce, deliver and sustain inclusive education and pedagogic practice.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan:
IRC will provide training and coaching to facilitators, instructors and mentors to deliver safe, quality instruction in literacy, numeracy, life and market-relevant employability, ensuring an environment and teaching approach that is responsive to children with disabilities. Trainings will take place in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Pakistan from 2018 to 2021.

Theme: Inclusive Education
Year: 2018

Skills development for decent work
IRC will promote access to decent work to girls with disabilities out of school.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
IRC will provide skills development for decent work to girls with disabilities out of school in Sierra Leone and Pakistan, and both girls and boys with disabilities in Tanzania, (2018-2020) ensuring foundational skills (numeracy and literacy) are attained, facilitating access to vocation-specific training, assistive devices, transport grants and financial services. IRC will work with the local business community and private sector to promote the employment and support of girls and boys with disabilities.

Theme: Routes to Economic Empowerment
Year: 2018

Commit to use the Washington Group questions
IRC will address data and evidence gaps to design and implement more effective and inclusive humanitarian programming by using the Washington Group questions and generating evidence on barriers faced by persons with disabilities, and what works to address them.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan 
Pilot experiences will take place in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Pakistan from 2018 to 2021, with the ambition of scaling up at organisational level. Implementation will include changes in needs assessments, programming, protection monitoring and data systems and respect for confidentiality and safety standards in data collection.

Theme: Data Disaggregation
Year: 2018

The IRC will identify and address barriers to access Gender-Based Violence (GBV) programming for girls and women with disabilities. 

Timeframe and/or implementation plan 
IRC will build the capacity of GBV practitioners to provide services to survivors with disabilities, expanding the roll-out of the GBV and Disability Toolkit developed by Women’s Refugee Commission and the International Rescue Committee, already piloted in Burundi, Ethiopia, Jordan and the Northern Caucasus in the Russian Federation, by 2021.

Theme: Women and Girls with Disabilities
Year: 2018

IRC will contribute to strengthen learning and practice for Cash Based Interventions including persons with disabilities.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
IRC will include learning and practice on how to better include persons with disabilities in  cash based interventions in its forthcoming Risk Mitigation in Cash Based Interventions Toolkit (July 2019). IRC will seek further resources to address research gaps in Cash Based Interventions, with a view to adapting approaches and influencing institutional commitments made under the World Humanitarian Summit’s Grand Bargain to conduct more cash programming.

Theme: Other
Year: 2018