World Relief: Iraqis come from an “in-your-face, demand culture”

Here is an article from Christianity Today about the influx of Iraqi and Burmese refugees in the past fiscal year.   Looks like World Relief (Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals) is having a bit of a problem with those pesky Iraqi refugees demanding new stuff.

The stream of African refugees to the United States has slowed to a trickle, but the number of refugees from Iraq and Burma has recently exploded. For U.S. resettlement ministries, that change requires adapting to new crosscultural challenges.

Under strong domestic and international pressure, the U.S. accepted more than 12,000 Iraqi refugees between October 2007 and October 2008. The country let in only 1,608 the previous year, the Department of Homeland Security says. But unlike most refugees, Iraqis must at first adjust to a lower standard of living.

World Relief works with local churches to resettle refugees in 23 U.S. cities. The government gives it and like organizations $850 for each refugee. Half of that goes for case management, the other half for direct settlement aid. Since many Iraqi refugees are doctors, professors, and other educated professionals, the amount falls far short of expectations, said Barbara Cocchi, south regional director for World Relief’s U.S. ministries arm.

“They expect new furniture, new clothes; they expect more than almost any other refugee group we’ve had,” she said. “And because their culture is an in-your-face, demand culture, it doesn’t always go over well here.” 

Check out World Relief’s financials here.   Notice that World Relief received $24,597,581 in 2007 from you, the American Tax Payer!   What happened to the separation of church and state?

Be sure also to read Chris Coen’s (Friends of Refugees) comment at the Christianity Today story about how World Relief should be putting more of its own money in the pot to care for refugees.

For everything you want to know about Iraqi refugees see our category on the subject here.  But be forewarned!   We have written 244 posts on that subject alone.

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