DRC opens representation in Brussels

The Danish Refugee Council is opening its first office in Brussels. Together with the DRC Representation in Geneva, the initiative is an important step in DRC’s strategic advocacy work on behalf of conflict-affected refugees and internally displaced people.

The purpose of the new DRC representation is to enhance advocacy efforts for populations affected by displacement and to strengthen the collaboration with relevant EU institutions.

“We are very happy and proud to have established our presence in Brussels. The EU is DRC’s second largest donor, and DRC’s partnership with EU institutions is of great importance to us. The DRC Brussels office plays a key role in ensuring that the partnership is maintained and developed,” says Ann Mary Olsen, International Director at the Danish Refugee Council.

Over the past years the DRC has experienced a substantial growth in its geographical outreach, and in the number of people assisted. In the same period, DRC has strengthened its work influencing policy in order to advocate globally for better solutions for conflict-affected refugees and IDP’s. This was also the motives behind the DRC’s decision to open its first representation in Geneva just over two years ago.

“This is a natural next step for a humanitarian organization the size of the Danish Refugee Council providing emergency aid for more than 2.5 million displaced persons every year in 40 of the world’s most conflict-ridden hotspots. Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Afghanistan… the needs are immense and it is crucial that we are also present where decisions are taken. With the establishment of our Brussels representation, DRC has yet another `embassy´. We are looking forward to increasing both our advocacy as well as our fundraising efforts in the benefit of the world’s displaced,” says Ann Mary Olsen.

The new Brussels representative for DRC is Birte Hald, who has extensive experience from the humanitarian and development field. Birte Hald has among other things been working for a number of years for IFRC, in different field locations and in Geneva. She was one of the founders of CONCORD; the Danish EU-network for NGO’s in Brussels and has been deeply involved in at Brussels level in European networks like VOICE and Concord-EU.

“I’m looking very much forward to becoming part of the Danish Refugee Council, and I’m pleased to be part of the expansion to Brussels. It is of utmost importance for an organization, the size of DRC to be present in Brussels, the capital of Europe. I know from my experience that it can make a decisive difference,” says Birte Hald, DRC’s new Brussels Representative.

The Danish Refugee Council is Denmark’s – and one of the worlds – largest humanitarian organizations working on all aspects of the refugee cause with 5,000 employees in 40 countries throughout the world. The aim of DRC is to protect refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) against persecution and to promote durable solutions to the problems of forced migration, on the basis of humanitarian principles and human rights. The Danish Refugee Council assists 2.5 million displaced and conflict affected persons each year.