The Role of Local Faith Actors In Implementing The Global Compact On Refugees
February 18, 2019
On February 18th, local and regional and international actors from all sectors met in Amman, Jordan for a half-day seminar. The meeting attendees included government agencies, think tanks, community-based and humanitarian organizations including faith-based organizations. The Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization, World Vision International, Anglican Communion, Muslim Aid, Middle East Council of Churches, Caritas Jordan, ICMC, Syria Relief, Tearfund and Mennonite Central Committee were among the organizations represented.
The seminar facilitated discussion on opportunities for increased engagement with local faith actors, examples of current programs and recommendations for better policies and practice to address refugee response in the region.
Seminar Goal: To continue and strengthen partnerships and programs to implement the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) by sharing and discussing the critical ways of faith actors respond to refugees and forced migration.
- Mr. Mohammed Kilani, Secretary General Deputy, Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization – Welcome
- Douglas DiSalvo, Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR – Faith and Protection: partnering with religious and FBOS to implement the Global Compact on Refugees
- Dr. Zakaria Al Sheikh, Trustee and Country Director, Al-Imdaad International (Jordan) – The religious imperative to care for the stranger—examples from Jordan.
- Jean Duff, President, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities – Roles of faith actors in implementing the Global Compact on Refugees
Amanda Rives, Regional Policy and Advocacy Director, Middle East and Eastern Europe Region, External Engagement Sr. Advisor, Child Protection & Participation, World Vision International chaired a panel on local faith refugee response with:
- Fr Mihai Pavel Director Faith and Development Middle East Region, World Vision International
- Inshirah Mousa – Director of JSR
- Dr. Kawas, Middle East Council of Churches
- Sheikh Zayed Hammad, President, Kitab wa Sunneh
Amanda Rives and Marwan Al Hennawi, JHCO chaired the final Q&A Session
Key points discussed by the speakers, panels and participants:
- The Facts about Local Faith Actors’ care for refugees on the move and in place
The possibility for significant engagement of local faith actors can have much greater depth and scope. This is seen by the many examples and ways local faith actors help refugees throughout their journey around the world. There are still many unmet possibilities for better ways to care for refugees from local actors, including local faith actors.
“Faith can play a key role in refugees’ experiences and rebuilding their lives. Stakeholders should help make connections with local faith leaders and facilitate spiritual support across all stages and places if desired by refugees. “ –Jean Duff, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities
2. Better ways to work collaborate better together across sectors
The attendees discussed recommendations for joint burden and responsibility sharing and the areas of support (Reception and Admission, Meeting Needs, and Supporting Communities), and solutions. These are based on JLI’s analysis of faith actors’ strengths and weaknesses, the current examples of programs, and ways to better work across sectors together for a joint response.
“Refugees often find comfort in being able to continue their prayer and religious duties. Faith sensitive providers like JHCO can help link refugees with faith leaders and place of worship and provide psychosocial support.” -Ayman Al Mufleh, Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization
Co-Hosts: The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, World Vision, and the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Development
This event is part of a larger series of dynamic events on the intersection of faith actors and the Global Compact on Refugees. Other events will be held in Beirut, Brussels and Geneva funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Read more about JLI’s research on the roles of local faith actors and the Global Compact on Refugees. Brief available in English and Arabic.