Press Releases

ECDC CALLS FOR PROTECTIONS FOR VULNERABLE UKRAINIANS

Arlington, Va. — The Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. (ECDC) is deeply distressed by the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine that has taken place in the past week. Russia’s aggression over the past eight years had already led to thousands of deaths and internal displacement for more than a million Ukrainians. Now that Russia has launched a multi-pronged military invasion, the UN estimates there are 386,000 Ukraine refugees, and the European Union (EU) estimates 7 million Ukrainians could be displaced. This conflict has the potential to create a great humanitarian crisis with devastating consequences throughout Europe.

“The international community has an obligation to use all means available to offer safety and protection to vulnerable Ukrainians fleeing conflict.” said Dr. Tsehaye Teferra, ECDC’s President and CEO. “We call upon the U.S. government to lead by example and use all available protection pathways such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for those Ukrainians already in the U.S. as well processing pending refugee applications for Ukrainians. These are lifesaving measures which are fully within the U.S.’s capability to implement immediately. We must stand with the people of Ukraine.”

ECDC calls for swift action to end the violence and avoid further displacement and loss of life. The U.S. and the international community must support Ukraine’s neighbors to keep their borders open and welcome Ukrainian nationals and provide humanitarian assistance. ECDC calls upon Congress to appropriate funds to support UNHCR’s emergency response effort. EU member states and NATO allies must also show solidarity and agree to process asylum seekers or resettle refugees as well as ensure international law is upheld. Regional cooperation and political will are critical to minimizing the humanitarian toll of this conflict.

As events unfold, ECDC will continue to monitor the situation. ECDC has been resettling individuals affected by the global refugee crisis for 31 years and will keep advocating for a system that enables all vulnerable people, without discrimination, a chance to rebuild their lives in peace and stability.

About ECDC

ECDC, based in Arlington, Va., is one of the nine national resettlement agencies directly funded by the Department of State. ECDC has been resettling refugees since 1991 and works with a network of affiliate organizations around the country to empower refugees and immigrants to become self-sufficient and integrated members of American society. For more information, visit www.ecdcus.org.

 

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February 28, 2022

Media Contact: Emily Gilkinson, EGilkinson@ecdcus.org