AuroraHumanitarian Initiativeand IRC to Support Syrian Refugees

  • Society - 18 October 2016, 14:32
International Rescue Committee andthe Aurora Humanitarian Initiativeare developingcash transfer programming for Syrian refugees

October 14, 2016-TheInternational Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Aurora Humanitarian Initiativeare partnering to fund a research program that will enable the IRC to provide vital assistance in the form of reliable and accountable cash distribution to those affected by the conflict in Syria.

With the US $100,000 support of Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, the IRC is chartering the development of a Cash First Roadmap—a yearlong campaign which will propose a methodology to identify the country-level barriers to wider cash transfer programming but also inform the means to address them.

The outcome will provide an established framework for the IRC and wider humanitarian community to follow.

“Every day, the number of people affected by humanitarian crises around the world steadily grows. Now is the time to redouble our efforts not just to raise the necessary resources, but to put in place the evidence-based programs that transform lives," said David Miliband, President and CEO of the IRC. “It is crucial that the humanitarian community continues to look toward and adopt the most cost-effective measures for providing relief, in order to maximize impact to the greatest number of beneficiaries.”

In contrast with other forms of humanitarian aid, which use donor funds to purchase and distribute relief items, cash transfer programming is a proven effective and efficient means to deliver assistance. Evidence shows that delivering cash is cheaper and faster than alternative forms of aid that require procurement, shipping, storing and distribution. Notably, cash transfer programming gives beneficiaries a greater degree of choice and dignity, allowing them to prioritize their own needs and become agents in their own recovery process. Additionally, evidence shows that the provision of cash to communities to spend on existing markets has a multiplier effect on the local economy.

“We’re gladto work with the IRC to further our shared goals of helping those who are most in need,” said Aurora Humanitarian InitiativeCo-Founder Ruben Vardanyan. “Like those special few who intervened with courage on behalf of Armenians one hundred years ago, we are proud to continue in their spirit today by supporting organizations addressing today’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We are pleasedto support a more innovative means of delivering aid—one which provides faster assistance and greater satisfaction to recipients.”

The IRC, which currently deploys cash assistance to more than 113,000 beneficiaries in 19 countries, will use the Roadmap to further increase its capacity to implement cash programming, and shift focus away from the provision of less-effective, in-kind assistance.

About the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is committed to building a broad, global humanitarian movement. The initiative is rooted in inspiring stories of courage and survival that emerged during the Armenian Genocide, when 1.5 million Armenians perished. Those fortunate few who survived were saved by the courageous and heroic acts of institutions and individuals who intervened, at great risk. A century later, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative seeks to express gratitude, share remarkable stories of survivors and their saviors, and celebrate the strength of the human spirit.


The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative creates and supports projects designed to raise public awareness and address some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian issues. These projects include the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues, the Aurora Humanitarian Index, the Gratitude Projects and the 100 LIVES Initiative. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is an enterprise of the IDeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia).


Further information is available at


About the International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.

More than 23 million people benefited from IRC programs and those of our partner organizations in 2015—nearly 5.5 millionmore individuals than we were able to reach in 2014.


Further information is available at