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Community Refugee

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Why community refugee sponsorship?

Being forced to flee

“There’s a tremendous desire from people around the world to respond to this crisis. The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative creates opportunities for citizens to engage with and participate in a humanitarian effort—for the benefit of refugees and for the benefit of the communities that they live in.”  
Gregory A. Maniatis, Director, International Migration Initiative, Open Society Foundations

From: Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative 

Imagine being forced to flee your country in order to escape to safety. If you were lucky you had time to pack a bag. If not, you simply dropped everything and ran.

Refugees are people fleeing conflict or persecution. They are defined and protected in international law, and must not be expelled or returned to situations where their life and freedom are at risk. 

Life as a refugee can be difficult to imagine. But, for 35.6 million people around the world, it is a terrifying reality.


In the current global context of long-standing and newly emerging conflicts preventing refugees from safely returning and forcing more people to flee, the need for resettlement opportunities is more urgent than ever. In 2023, UNHCR considers that two million refugees were in need of resettlement. Only 114,300 refugees were resettled globally in 2022 - only 7% of needs.


Fortunately, resettlement programmes exist within a growing ecosystem of third country solutions pathways, which include other legal admission pathways for persons in need of international protection such as humanitarian admission, family reunification and sponsorship by communities.


Resettlement is a lifeline for refugees who cannot return home or settle in the country where they have sought initial safety.


Source: UNHCR

For further information read about UNHCR's Global Resettlement Needs 2024.

You can now play your part!

Aotearoa New Zealand is one of the most recent countries that is exploring alternative resettlement pathways such as the Community Refugee Sponsorship programme.


The Community Refugee Sponsorship programme enables all New Zealanders to welcome refugees to Aotearoa. The programme supports groups to directly engage in refugee resettlement by committing to providing financial, emotional and practical support to help newly arrived refugees integrate into life in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Community Refugee Sponsorship NZ - Sponsor a Refugee NZ

An opportunity to support refugee resettlement.

Sponsored refugees are supported by community groups to quickly become independent and self-sufficient in their new lives in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Why sponsor a refugee?


There are more refugees in the world than there are resettlement places.

Every little bit helps and you can help make life better for a family in desperate need of protection.

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Frequently Asked Questions


We have compiled a list of commonly asked questions about the Community Refugee Sponsorship programme.

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Around the globe 


New Zealand is one of a number of countries who have joined the Community Refugee Sponsorship pathway.


Find programme information and resources from around the globe.

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