JIAS's Response to the Eritrean Refugee Crisis

Eritrea is one of the world’s most repressive dictatorships. Its government subjects its population to forced labour, conscription, and heavily restricts freedoms, including freedom of religion. This has left many Eritreans with no choice but to flee to Israel, the closest safe haven. In many cases, parents are forced to leave their children in Eritrea, afraid they will not survive the trek across Africa. As a result, families have been separated with children being raised by grandparents or other community members. Today, over 20,000 Eritreans live in Israel with no durable solution.

In partnership with Toronto’s Eritrean community and members of the Jewish community, JIAS sponsors Eritrean refugees in Israel to reunite with their families in Canada. JIAS acts as the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) and provides settlement support once they arrive in Canada. Due to the growing number of Eritrean newcomers, JIAS piloted special outreach and mental health programs in Tigrinya.