AHRC is deeply saddened and distressed by Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis it is causing. As of today, hundreds of thousands of people displaced by this senseless war join the over 80 million forcibly displaced people that our world of humanitarian organizations and governments struggle to support and accommodate.
The gigantic amount of suffering that we address is with a depth of understanding to recognize that all communities in Ukraine are equally impacted by the unjust cruelty. Our hearts go out to all Ukrainians, and especially fear for LGBTQI communities as Russia invades. We stand with LGBTQI Russians who continue to suffer persecution and discrimination in their own country. We commend the Russians who are protesting and standing up to Putin.
In our work at African Human Rights Coalition (AHRC), we respond with advocacy, humanitarian services and resources to the violence suffered by LGBTQI people in and from African countries, caused by criminalization, persecution and violence against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.
We cannot underestimate the significance of the Ukraine impact on Africa. Stretching global funds and resources hurts all. Let us face the truth – African LGBTQI refugees have languished for years and years as refugees in subpar conditions with limited resources and closed doors, often in hostile host countries. Resources and solutions are limited. It is simply impossible to fully provide and so when a new crisis hits it feels as if we are relegated to back of the line of yet another crisis. This is the harsh reality.
As you open your doors and purses, in your giving and protection endeavors, we call upon you to remember how this terrible crisis impacts ALL. Please support Ukraine while you continue to support our African LGBTQI community who cannot be left behind.
We call upon all to unite to support and protect ALL those displaced around the world. There is no time greater than now.
We would like to extend a very special thank you to Dr. Filippo Grandi and all the colleagues at UNHCR, as well as the governments and humanitarian organizations embracing Ukraine with the hard work and commitment to protect, shelter and feed.
Melanie and Marc MELANIE NATHAN, MARC COHEN & TEAM AHRC African Human Rights Coalition