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RPI at a Glance

Refugee Protection International at a Glance

Enabling dignity in urban displacement with refugee-led partners

Refugee Protection International offers a scalable, locally-driven model of frontline humanitarian aid. Our mission is to partner with local NGOs and duty bearers to strengthen protection and self-reliance among urban refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) near conflict zones through interventions including, but not limited to, innovative housing solutions, civil and residency documentation, and emergency protection assistance.

RPI co-designs, oversees, and supports humanitarian projects implemented onsite by registered refugee-led organizations in the Middle East. Projects provide the most vulnerable IDPs and urban refugees with improved services in 3 program areas: housing conditions; protection and self-reliance; and education and health care. Every project is funded by RPI through a project grant and receives mentorship throughout its lifecycle, as well as additional technical and logistic support if needed. Since late 2015, supported projects have assisted over 45,000 refugees and IDPs in Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey, and rehabilitated medical infrastructure to serve tens of thousands more.

By collaborating with inspiring refugee-led partners, we aspire toward a more equitable and efficient model of international relief work. It is our vision that refugees have the opportunity to lead humanitarian efforts on the ground, better access external funding, and more effectively meet their community’s self-reliance needs. RPI is honored to serve as a partner. We improve the visibility of our refugee-led partners by recognizing their efforts online and during outreach to giving partners.

In 2020, our collaborative efforts will seek to respond to the Syrian, Yemeni, and Iraqi displacement crises in the Middle East. A particular emphasis is placed on reaching the most vulnerable women and children in hard-to-reach areas and urban neighborhoods, where refugee-led organizations are often best placed to identify and serve those in need.

RPI is a nonprofit organization with U.S. tax-exempt 501(c)3 public charity status. In our pursuit of local relief capacity and aid efficiency, we rely on a nimble yet rigorous approach to collaboration and monitoring, with onsite visits, due diligence, and continuous virtual interaction. In 2018, RPI was able to allocate 95% of its expenses to programming, of which 6% for project oversight, technical and logistic support and 94% for project grants for direct service provision to refugees and IDPs.

RPI is committed to the humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality, humanity, and independence. We continuously strive for ethical conduct, accountability, and transparency. As an independent humanitarian organization, we do not impose political or religious views on our local partners and participating beneficiaries. Nor do we discriminate based on religion, race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disabilities, or marital status.


  • Housing Conditions

    Providing refugees and IDPs with shelter upgrades, access to affordable rent, alternative fuel, and flood relief. Read more →


  • Protection and Self-Reliance

    Helping refugees to access work permits and the documents needed to enjoy public education and health care. Equipping refugee women with vocational training, language skills, and job search support, while providing children with psychosocial support. Read more →


  • Education and Health

    Providing regulated non-formal primary education and meeting urgent medical needs among refugees and IDPs. Read more →




Credit: RPI, Gaziantep, Turkey

Why RPI?

We reach the unreachable: internally displaced persons (IDPs) and frontline urban refugees. Over 50% of the world’s refugees do not live in camps, yet humanitarian aid, while slowly adapting, has historically been targeted and tailored to camps. According to UNHCR, 80% of refugees have fled to neighboring countries that are vastly under-resourced and deserving of greater international support as recognized by the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees. More strikingly, nearly 2/3 of the record 71 million people forcibly displaced are IDPs who do not feature in the Global Compact on Refugees. Often trapped in some of the most devastating areas of armed conflict, IDPs are in acute need of support.

We aim for equity, efficiency and sustainability. By implementing primarily with refugee-led partners, we promote local ownership, reduce costs, and enhance access to hard-to-reach areas. Ultimately, we believe in empowering local NGOs who will stay and persist when international responders move to the next crisis. Given the unprecedented scale of global displacement and interest in a more participatory approach, the Global Compact on Refugees and the World Humanitarian Summit call for more effective, efficient, and locally-driven aid. Signatories to the Summit’s Grand Bargain pledged to increase the share of global humanitarian funding for local and national responders from 2% to 25% by 2020. Yet progress toward localisation is hampered in the relief sector by administrative and regulatory barriers, as well as the limited recognition and, at times, project design and monitoring capacity, of otherwise remarkable local NGOs. As a result, far too few refugee-led organizations are being funded and supported to carry out relief work.

Restricted access by international actors to IDPs in war-torn northern Syria has led to an increasing role of refugee-led NGOs in cross-border implementation, but primarily in the name of access and at great risk to staff safety. We believe that refugees merit a greater role in decision-making and implementation on all programs affecting their community, whether for IDPs or in host countries where access is less constricting. It is in this spirit of equity between displaced professionals and well-intentioned internationals that our locally-driven model was forged.

We strengthen project design and monitoring to improve protection and self-reliance outcomes for the most vulnerable. Together with our refugee-led partners we design humanitarian projects that incorporate the views, skills, and needs of urban refugees and IDPs. The particular context of women, girls, and persons with disabilities and other learning challenges are carefully considered. In addition to direct aid, our joint projects facilitate access by the displaced community to vital documentation, host country services (education, social, health), urban housing, and professional training. For scale and sustainability, we catalyze greater civil society collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders. We continuously strengthen projects and prioritize community feedback to remain accountable to the brave refugees we serve and work alongside.

Geographical Areas of Interest to RPI

Syria
Lebanon
Southern Turkey
Iraq (Kurdistan Region of Iraq)
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