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MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett Donate $10M to HIAS for Ukraine Response

SILVER SPRING, Md. — HIAS, the international Jewish humanitarian organization, announced today that it has received a $10 million grant from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett to help respond to the crisis in Ukraine. This substantial gift demonstrates confidence in HIAS’ more than 100-year history of seeking welcome, safety, and opportunity for people fleeing persecution and violence. The gift further supports HIAS’ continued expansion from a U.S. refugee resettlement agency to a global organization that responds to refugee and other forced displacement emergencies around the world.

“We are honored once again that MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett recognize that HIAS is in a position to help refugees and displaced people on the ground in ways that are life-changing,” said Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS. “HIAS has been working in independent Ukraine for over 20 years, working with Ukrainians and launching a Ukrainian-led organization (Right to Protection - R2P) to protect and welcome asylum seekers from other countries as well as displaced Ukrainians themselves. Today, we are working with partners — many of whom are displaced persons themselves — to help refugees and the displaced be safe, welcome, and able to lead their lives until they can finally return home."

Specifically, the Scott Jewett grant will help HIAS to:

  • Respond to the short, medium, and longer-term needs of refugees from Ukraine, including humanitarian aid and resettlement/relocation options in the European Union. HIAS, partnering with local civil society actors and social service institutions, will provide refugee families with a holistic package of services, including housing, education, health, language training, mental health, and gender-based violence (GBV) risk reduction.

  • HIAS and HIAS Europe teams will support the (1) voluntary relocation of Jewish populations from countries bordering Ukraine; (2) capacity building for Jewish communities across Western Europe to support those relocated, and (3) partnerships with local municipalities and community partners in HIAS country offices (including Austria, Spain, Greece, and Belgium) to assist with the integration of newly arrived Ukrainians, and in some cases, their reunification with family in the U.S. and other countries. While this effort will initially be focused on Ukrainians, it can be extended to non-Ukrainian nationals currently in flight, and later to refugees of all backgrounds. 

  • Improve the safety of women and girls displaced by the crisis in Ukraine through essential protection and GBV services. HIAS will align with and position key local  women’s rights organizations to take a lead role in delivering GBV response services. (As men aged 18-60 are barred from leaving Ukraine, women and children are already the vast majority of refugees, gender- and GBV-focused interventions are essential.)

  • Provide technical assistance, capacity strengthening, and general support to local actors in Ukraine and neighboring countries to create a more efficient and sustainable response to displaced communities.

This is the second grant that HIAS has received from Mackenzie Scott and Dan Jewett; in June 2021 the philanthropists gave to HIAS as part of their efforts to support and advance a more just, equitable, and welcoming world. HIAS is in the middle of a $40 million campaign to raise funds for its emergency response in Ukraine, including support for programs in Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, and Romania.

HIAS believes that all refugees, when given access to the rights and opportunities to live, work, and learn in safety and freedom, can rebuild their lives, contribute to their new communities, and thrive.

 

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HIAS is an international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 16 countries. We advocate for the rights of refugees to rebuild their lives and seek to create a world in which they find welcome, safety, and opportunity. Learn more at hias.org