The Importance of Non-Governmental Organizations to Achieve SDG

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Mar 31, 2023
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  8
Words:  2293
Order Original Essay

How it works

Immigrant and refugee health is a predominant and concerning global health issue that has introduced many public health challenges for both the population and the country. Immigrants and refugees are considered vulnerable populations regardless of which country they migrate to. This is because most immigrants and refugees are fleeing their home country due to crises, war/conflict, or natural disasters in search of survival and a better livelihood. This vulnerable population faces difficulties in accessing primary health care and basic survival resources.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

Many have left countries with limited health care services and prevalent contagious diseases such as tuberculosis or Ebola (Caulford, 2006). A majority of immigrants and refugees are primarily women and children that require a larger proportion of health care needs and mental health support. Children face learning and educational barriers in schools, which can lead to slow developmental growth and difficulty entering the workforce. Additionally, immigrants and refugees have tremendous challenges finding employment opportunities and supporting children, which leads to considerable amounts of stress and mental health problems.

Finding economic success in a new society is a common goal for any immigrant or refugee, but changes in socioeconomic status or adjusting to different working conditions is not an easy task for most (Dow, 2011). Social determinants such as language and cultural practices have been an impediment for many in seeking health care due to a fear of deportation or difficulty discussing symptoms (Dow, 2011). Politically, new immigrants and refugees face racism and stereotyping, which can cause psychological burdens for both the migrants and the citizens. These are just a few of many of the determinants that immigrants and refugees face on an individual level that impact health both nationally and globally. Yet, countries accepting large volumes of immigrants and refugees have encountered political, economic, social, and educational barriers as well.

Political concerns such as national security and the safety of the nation’s citizens have heightened stress, fear, and violence amongst populations. Many countries face economic hardships, such as limited resources and funding to provide sufficient care to newcomers. These countries are struggling to meet the healthcare needs of these vulnerable populations with high healthcare demand (Hunter, 2016). Social barriers such as language and cultural practices can cause miscommunication when interacting with providers and can lead to misdiagnoses (Dow, 2011). Additionally, the influx of children in school systems can hinder educational success and put a financial strain on public schools and teachers because of a lack of resources and money. Even mental health barriers put a strain on the primary health care of the population because of factors such as language barriers and cultural differences that impede communications and mutual understanding, which could cause misdiagnosis or an overlooked concern (Kirmayer et al., 2010).

The burdens placed on both the immigrants/refugees and their residing countries can cause great disparities in health care systems and the public. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are involved in not only providing clinical care and public health services, but they deliver relief aid, leading community development work, engaging in advocacy, and managing logistics for health programs and projects (Jacobson, 2019). Non-governmental organizations that provide aid to these vulnerable populations while trying to reduce the gap in disparities are valuable sources. They offer opportunities for the growth and well-being of the public and those in need of services and support.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a non-governmental organization established on a local, national, and international level, dedicated to the health and livelihood of those populations suffering from humanitarian crises such as conflict and disaster. With 191 field offices in over 30 crisis-torn countries, the IRC’s fundamental mission is not only to increase access to safety, food, and primary health care but also to create educational and economic opportunities for refugees so they can live prosperous and successful lives. With a core focus on health, safety, education, power, and economic well-being, the IRC addresses the social determinants of health in ways that enable these populations to restore and recover health for themselves and their families.

They work in 27 cities in the United States, helping newly arrived refugees adjust to their life in America and contribute to their new country. Their strategy aims to meet the needs and aspirations of those they serve by reaching more people quickly to match the scale and urgency of today’s crises, setting new standards for quality and effectiveness through evidence and innovation, and building tools and systems that enable staff to focus on high-impact programs.

According to their main webpage, the beginnings of the International Rescue Committee started in 1933 with an American branch of the European-based International Relief Association (IRA) founded at the suggestion of Albert Einstein to support Germans suffering under Hitler. It’s fascinating to learn how the history of this organization has progressed throughout its 85 years of existence. From initiating emergency relief programs for refugee resettlements at the end of World War II to the forefront response of preventing the spread of West Africa’s Ebola virus outbreaks, this organization has an impressive trajectory of humanitarian aid for all types of populations and crises.

The IRC does a great job of addressing the social, political, and economic determinants of health and its contributions to the public health issue. Based on their annual reports, in 2017, the IRC increased access to educational, economic, and employment opportunities by providing over a million children with schooling opportunities and helped create over 16,000 businesses, most of them female-owned. In addition, they provided availability of community-based resources through safe spaces to children and women and aided nearly 23 million people with getting access to primary health care.

Politically, this organization dedicated its time to helping over 10,000 refugees and special visa recipients resettle in American communities and even supported refugees launching their own small businesses in the US. Economically, along with encouraging new entrepreneurs and helping local businesses grow through mentorship, financial management, training, technical support, and access to grants and loans, they’ve also provided cash asset transfers to almost 200,000 households of refugees and vulnerable people. The tremendous amount of aid this organization has provided to these vulnerable groups of people has been truly life changing, and their goals continue to grow each year.

What this organization does so well is that along with addressing many of the social determinants of health these people face upon entering a new settlement, they focus on a global emergency medicine that serves people whose lives have been overturned by war, conflict, and natural disasters. To accomplish this, they work in countries where people don’t necessarily have the resources and support to recover from crises, respond and resettle those refugees welcomed in the United States by helping them succeed and thrive.

The IRC’s website does a fantastic job of informing the public about what’s going on in these countries facing hardships and how others can help, volunteer, or donate. There are personal success stories of those who have prospered with the help they were provided by the organization and plans for future goals, what type of impact it will make, and how it can be achieved. This organization has played a critical role in addressing some of the Sustainable Development Goals and has its own set of benchmarks and objectives to improve and make a greater impact. The IRC has reached millions of people and has a strong support base and a systematic method to offer its services. This organization truly helps build brighter futures for those who’ve lost everything.

Despite the efforts made by the International Rescue Committee, there are some areas where it could improve its performance. The main priority of this organization focuses on refugee resettlement, aid, and support, but I would like to see ways that this committee provides support to the host country, either the United States or other areas where refugees are being displaced. It would be beneficial to have programs set up for community members from these countries to get involved, either as a host family or with funding or resources. There are volunteer and donation links on their website, but it would be a bit more helpful to specify what volunteers can do to help and other programs that are available to get involved with.

Even for those who would like to get a better understanding of who these people are, what they’re going through, and how they’ve struggled, we could inform the general public with online tutorials, information, videos, and basic training to help bring awareness. Bringing attention to the work being done in order to help these vulnerable populations and the struggles they face is a very impactful and effective course of action that can reach great heights and truly inspire many to get involved and help.

Although there isn’t very much that I would change about the way this organization operates, I would definitely like to address some potential barriers to improvement. One immediate barrier that immediately comes to mind when discussing NGOs, even one with such a large-scale global impact as the International Rescue Committee, is funding. As many services as this organization provides, there is always more that can be done, and more money can go a long way when providing aid and resources to those in need. Another barrier that specifically affects this organization in particular, because it heavily focuses on refugee health, is political involvement.

If the political administration of the country is unwilling to aid or admit refugees, then it creates a problematic situation that conflicts with the goals of the NGO. In regard to the backlash of political cooperation, the IRC’s attempt to overcome this barrier is to petition congress to allow more refugees into the United States. The main page of their website provides a link to congress to empower the general public and give them the opportunity to speak out about this issue and appeal to the government in hopes of generating change. By limiting the number of refugees entering the US, the IRC is falling behind in accomplishing some of the Sustainable Development Goals set to improve health on a global level. On an individual level, I could potentially get involved in assisting in this barrier by starting my own campaign and addressing the issue to bring awareness to the problem in an attempt to gain a big enough support system that might motivate change.

What I would love to contribute to this organization would be to train and bring awareness to the public on ways to help. Inform and educate the public on small interventions that could bring impact others. I would like to create a social media movement to incentivize the public to get involved and offer support through online platforms to gain awareness and momentum to produce change. I would love to be involved in a more practical sense, through an interactive approach either through education or any other program intervention that can help refugee children perform well in schools or assist refugees in connecting them to health care.

I would also be interested in seeing more mental health interventions and support programs that address the psychological and emotional distresses that accompany immigrants and refugees that uproot their lives in search of a new settlement. Migration poses numerous stresses, and providing effective clinical care to families, women, and children can allow clinicians and mental health workers to recognize the struggles of adaptation into a new society and help undertake the barriers that many refugees face on a psychological level (Kirmayer et al.,2010).

The International Rescue Committee is committed to following the guidelines to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030 that aim to ‘leave no one behind.’ With their work and effort, they address several Sustainable Development Goals that include: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, and decent work and economic growth. However, even despite all of their contributions and humanitarian aid, the IRC reports that they are still behind in supporting the 152 million people caught in crisis and in need of assistance. What they propose in order to take charge and make a change to move forward in the right direction is to drive a political commitment by ensuring that people impacted by crises are not overlooked.

It is important to make the reports and testimonies of these vulnerable populations visible so that people are aware of what’s going on and ensure that global frameworks align with the SDGs to confirm that there is unity and clear outcomes, indicators, and targets. Moving forward, the IRC plans to not only provide more aid but better aid, which means implementing evidence-based solutions for interventions to strengthen understanding of what works and what doesn’t, using cost efficiency, effectiveness, and results to develop and apply tools and processes that are based on evidence and track how to deliver the most cost-effective interventions that deliver more outcomes for less cost.

After reviewing the details of the IRC, it is evident that this organization addresses the PACES definition of global health and identifies the population, action, cooperation, equity, and security to identify this global health issue, and with their annual reports and their projected goals, the IRC has provided a framework for prioritizing items from the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 into their global health agenda. Non-governmental organizations like this one are truly a public health backbone that really makes a drastic difference and implements change toward a healthier future for all.

The International Rescue Committee has given millions of people a second chance for a better livelihood and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. The work done by this organization has demonstrated that there are still numerous public health concerns that need to be addressed, and by working together, we can reduce the health disparities between immigrants and refugees and build a better future for all.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

The Importance of Non-Governmental Organizations to Achieve SDG. (2023, Mar 31). Retrieved from