NGO: Jesuit Refugee Service

Founded: November 1980.  The service was founded to support Vietnamese refugees, traveling by boat, by Fr. Pedro Arrupe

Mission: To accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people.

Areas of Concentration: Advocacy, Education, Emergency Assistance, Health and Food Access, Generate Income and Social Services for Refugees or Internally Displaced Persons.

Budget: approx. $17,500,000.00 per anum

Sources of Funding: Caritas Network: $5,000,000, Other Catholic Charities or Church Funding: $2,800,000, UNHCR: $3,600,000, Jesuit Sources: $2,000,000, Private Donors: $1,800,000, Government and other agencies: $833,000, Other income: $588,000.

Distribution of Funds by Region: Africa: 60 %, Asia and Oceania: 17.6 %,
Europe: 15 %, Americas: 6.4 %

Operation size:  Working in over 50 countries, the JRS is unique amongst NGOs in that it works with populations inside developed nations.  The JRS is made up of Jesuit Priests, secular professionals and volunteers.

Countries: Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Canada, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, United States, Mexico, Panama, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand

Priorities:  JRS gives priority to accompaniment and pastoral presence among refugees and forcibly displaced persons.

Organization Structure:  International Director:  Chosen by Superior General of the Society of Jesus.  Must be a Jesuit, serves for an indefinite amount of time.  His responsibilities include promoting the Society’s refugee ministry and providing the necessary leadership. He is responsible for all apostolates that carry the Jesuit Refugee Service name. He represents JRS in relation to other Church and international agencies. Determines the boundaries of JRS regions and must give approval before regional offices are established.
Council of International Director: a Council of three or four Jesuits, who are his consulters, advises The International Director. They are appointed by the Superior General and serve for unspecified terms. Together with the International Director, they also serve as the administrative board of the Jesuit Refugee Service Foundation.
Regional Directors: a Jesuit, a religious or a layperson may fill The Regional Director’s position.  The Regional Director is responsible for all activities in a region.

Headquartered: Roma Prati, Italy


University of Hawaii at Manoa; Center of Excellence in DMHA; ICRC

Contact Information

Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 118
Honolulu, HI 96822