Alexandria, Va. – Through a collaboration with the Virginia Department of Social Services Office of New Americans (ONA), Islamic Relief USA, a nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization, is providing $35,000 in financial assistance to United Way of the National Capital Area to welcome 77 Afghan legal permanent residents (LPRs) who are not eligible to receive funding or support from the federal government.
Through IRUSA’s support, the LPR Emergency Service Center (LPRESC), which is operated by United Way NCA, will provide greeting and service orientation, transportation from the airport to LPRESC, interpreters, and distribution of pre-paid debit cards. The program will last until the end of October.
“This assistance will help newly arrived Afghans to get the essential goods and services they would otherwise not be receiving,” said Syed M. Hassan, communications specialist at IRUSA. “Helping this population, among others, is a moral obligation not only for IRUSA, but society in general. We hope to make legal permanent residents’ transition to the United States as smooth as possible during this difficult time.”
This partnership came about after the Virginia Department of Social Services Office of New Americans (ONA) established an on-site Emergency Repatriation Center (ERC) and began coordinating efforts with federal, state, and local agencies to assist the evacuees as required in the Repatriation Plan. These services assist private US citizens, their dependents, and other US Department of State (DOS) authorized individuals once they have arrived in the US as a result of a coordinated evacuation or repatriation from a foreign country.
“The Office of New Americans, created by the 2020 Virginia General Assembly, exists to connect immigrant communities with vital resources to support their successful integration and transition into the Commonwealth,” said VDSS State Refugee Coordinator Seyoum Berhe. “We are committed to building bridges to promote greater access and opportunities for all newcomers. Our agency’s cross-promotion of the Afghan Evacuees Response Fund is just one of many ways we continue to advance this important and collaborative work.”
While the Repatriation Plan authorizes the ONA to offer federal funding (in the form of loans) to US citizen evacuees and their nuclear families who are in need of emergency social services, it does not authorize ONA to offer the same opportunity for federal funding to legal permanent residents (LPRs) who do not have a US citizen as part of their nuclear family. That means that the emergency social services being offered to US citizens are not available to Afghan LPRs.
Syed M. Hassan
(571) 421-7032 (CELL)
Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to provide relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and works to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world. Its programs benefit millions of people each year in more than 40 countries around the world, including in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), one of the Commonwealth’s largest government agencies, is comprised of approximately 1,700 state staff who proudly serve alongside more than 8,000 employees of 120 local departments of social services and community action agencies to deliver critical social services to Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens. VDSS is committed to ensuring Virginians have access to the high-quality human services and resources needed to enhance their individual and collective well-being, and shape strong futures for themselves, their families and communities. The agency provides a wide range of services and resources in the areas of food and energy assistance, foster care and adoption, child support, and abuse and neglect prevention, among others. For more information, visit dss.virginia.gov.