JRS Australia Annual Report 2020

18 May 2024

Kassem and his friends in the JRS school in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon. (Kristof Holvenyi/Jesuit Refugee Service)

JRS Australia’s Annual Report 2020 explores the unique obstacles that came from a challenging and tumultuous year. Levels of displacement world-wide due to conflict, violence, and persecution grew and is now over one percent of the world population.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted displaced people in Australia in a multitude of ways and has drastically changed the way we at JRS Australia work.

Demand for JRS Australia’s services significantly increased to over 260% in the past year. Despite these adverse circumstances, JRS Australia was able to adapt to these changes to assist 3,882 people through 21,834 instances of service.

The result of the pandemic has highlighted the generous support from our communities, our volunteers, and our staff to carry out our mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for refugees and people seeking asylum.

JRS Australia was able to launch the mobile food bank, shift to online case work, provide a specialist employment assistance program, and remote financial support, in response to social distancing restrictions.

Although much more must be done, JRS Australia also played a leading advocacy role in ensuring that people seeking asylum and other temporary migrants were not forgotten or left behind during the pandemic in Australia

The past year also marked 40 years since the establishment of JRS International. Reflecting on this, JRS Australia is grateful for the privilege to work alongside displaced people and provide support to live meaningful and dignified lives in Australia.

To read about the details of our services and advocacy efforts, check out the JRS Australia Annual Report 2020.