On World Refugee Day 2019 the Refugee Family Reunification Trust reached a milestone well worth celebrating when total donations reached two million dollars. Kate O’Malley, Senior Policy Advisor at UNHCR in Canberra, gifted the Trust the symbolic ‘two millionth dollar’. Since 2001 the Trust’s generous supporters have helped reunite over 280 refugee families, including paying for more than 780 airfares. Every dollar donated has directly helped refugees because the Trust is run on an entirely voluntary basis.
In congratulating the Trust on its work, UNHCR Regional Representative, Louise Aubin, noted that family reunification was so important because it was fundamental to a refugee’s ability to integrate into a new country. “The Global Compact on Refugees, affirmed by the UN Assembly in late 2018 underlines the need for countries to do more to facilitate solutions, including through family reunification,” Ms Aubin said. She praised the Trust and its partners and donors for showing “a great example of the collaboration and effort needed to ensure the global commitment of responsibility sharing for refugees can be realized.”
The following is the full congratulatory message from Louise Aubin, Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:
“I congratulate the Refugee Family Reunification Trust on the important work it has achieved through its committed support to refugee family reunification. Restoring family unity is a fundamental aspect of bringing back normality to the lives of refugees. It can ease the sense of loss felt by many who, in addition to family, have lost their country, network and life as they knew it. Family reunification can fundamentally affect a refugee’s ability to integrate in their new country and is often a crucial step in their settlement. The Global Compact on Refugees, affirmed by UN General Assembly in late 2018 underlines the need for countries to do more to facilitate solutions, including through family reunification. The important work of the Trust and the support of its partners and donors over 18 years is a great example of the collaboration and effort needed to ensure the global commitment of responsibility sharing for refugees can be realized.”