Church World Service calls for signatures to support displaced Ukrainians

Church World Service (CWS) is circulating a faith sign-on letter urging the administration to support Ukrainians and uphold protections for displaced and at-risk populations. The deadline for signatures is Wednesday, March 23.

Forms to sign on are available for faith leaders at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf-xV9iK6qEgBbBO-tVox9jQ6QyvckUtsKSXHoDbzgghJgwzw/viewform and for congregations at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIaYsgkIV3s3DZvUlfzkjpmFD1nT4-z4Gi0zsLw8o04J-CWA/viewform.

“The escalation of conflict in Ukraine has triggered an immediate and steep rise in humanitarian needs as essential supplies and services are disrupted and civilians flee,” said an announcement. “UNHCR has indicated that the situation looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century and that 12 million people inside Ukraine will also need humanitarian assistance.”

In addition. CWS is urging the administration “to robustly respond to protection needs of all displaced and at-risk populations without discrimination, including displaced individuals of African-descent and stateless people.”

The specific asks to the administration included in the letter are:

  1. Do everything in your power to see that the United States continues to invest in humanitarian and displacement assistance and to support UNHCR’s emergency response efforts to ensure people have access to shelter, food, medicine, and other forms of humanitarian aid in Ukraine and neighboring countries.
  2. Ensure swift processing of pending refugee applications for Ukrainians, and non-Ukrainians who had been in Ukraine, at all potential processing locations and especially in Ukraine’s neighboring countries.
  3. Facilitate family reunification processing to reunite loved ones, such as by processing Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians who had been displaced in Ukraine with pending I-130 family petitions through the US resettlement program.
  4. Support non-governmental organizations in Ukraine and neighboring countries to assist internally displaced individuals or individuals seeking asylum in Ukraine and other host countries.
  5. Recognize unique barriers encountered by stateless persons displaced in and fleeing Ukraine and better identify and protect such individuals.
  6. Immediately designate Special Student Relief (SSR) to protect Ukrainian students in the United States.

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