As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 70 to 90 percent of refugees have either lost their jobs or had their work hours reduced, according to We Are All America, a national organization working to support immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
Many people in these groups do not qualify for Coronavirus-related government assistance due to their immigration status, and resettlement agencies and nonprofit organizations are already overwhelmed with an increased workload. So We Are All America, Ethnic Community Based Organizations and local faith organizations in Arizona are working to raise funds to provide emergency cash assistance for immigrants' and refugees' necessities such as rent, utilities, childcare, food and more.
Their goal is to raise $300,000.
"While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of everyone in countless ways, refugees and immigrants are one of the most impacted communities," said Nejra Sumic with We Are All America. "These working families who have already experienced past trauma and have escaped persecution from their country of origin, are now finding themselves having to survive through a global pandemic."
The coalition includes the International Rescue Committee, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, Somali Association of Arizona, Tucson Refugee Ministry, Merciful Refugee and Immigrant Services, Catholic Charities Community Services Phoenix, Council on American Islamic Relations of Arizona, Democratic Republic of Congo Community of Arizona, Arizona Syrian Community, and Iskashitaa Refugee Network, among others.
To donate to the Arizona Refugee Emergency Fund, click here