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IRAP Announces $53 Million Expansion of Legal Assistance for Displaced People Funded Through The Audacious Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     

April 11, 2022


Spencer Tilger


The six-year grant will enable IRAP and a global network of partners to empower 2.5 million displaced people with the legal aid, information, and advocacy necessary to access pathways to safety by 2027

(Vancouver, BC) – Today, at the TED2022 conference, the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) was announced as a 2021-2022 grantee of The Audacious Project, a collaborative funding initiative housed at TED that catalyzes social impact on a grand scale. As a member of this year’s Audacious cohort, IRAP will receive a historic $53 million over six years, allowing for a transformational expansion of the organization’s services, reach, and impact. With this generous investment, IRAP will scale up its legal advocacy and services to address the global refugee crisis in an unprecedented way. 

By 2027, IRAP seeks to equip 2.5 million displaced people around the world with the legal resources necessary to activate their legal rights and pursue pathways to safety with dignity and agency. IRAP’s strategy to achieve this goal focuses on three main levers:

  1. Expanding IRAP’s global presence and partnerships to regions hosting 75% of the world’s refugees;
  2. Building out the world’s most robust and accessible virtual legal information platform for refugees, so that displaced people can activate their legal rights no matter where they are located; and
  3. Leveraging the power of systemic advocacy and impact litigation to remove existing barriers and create more pathways to safety.

“The Audacious Project looks to be a powerful lever for changemakers, like the International Refugee Assistance Project, that are dedicated to unraveling society’s most urgent challenges,” said Anna Verghese, Executive Director of The Audacious Project. “With this funding, IRAP will seek to boost the capacity of the global humanitarian system to respond to increasing waves of displacement in the future,  and we’re proud to welcome them into this year’s cohort.”

In a TED Talk delivered at today’s conference, Becca Heller, Executive Director of IRAP, discussed the urgent and acute needs facing displaced people and IRAP’s vision to meet those challenges:

“When faced with the reality that human movement is, in fact, inevitable, countries have two choices: They can build walls and prisons and separate children from their parents, or they can create fair and transparent legal systems that facilitate safe and organized migration and resettlement. Functional, rights-based legal systems help everyone. Through this work, I meet so many people who embody the traits we often praise in entrepreneurs and thought leaders it takes creativity, tenacity, and bravery to get yourself and your family to a new country to start over. In my opinion, countries should be competing for refugees! But at the very least, everyone should have a safe place to call home and a safe way to get there.”

IRAP’s funding through The Audacious Project is made possible thanks to the partnership of 16 inspiring and forward-thinking donors and social entrepreneurs, including Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Galaxy Gives, Joe Gebbia and Isabelle Boemeke, Laura and Gary Lauder and Family, Lyna Lam and Chris Larsen, MacKenzie Scott, Pivotal Ventures, Rippleworks, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Patchwork Collective, Valhalla Foundation, and other anonymous funders.

Additional Information

  • Learn more about the project on IRAP’s website: HERE
  • Learn more about the 2021-2022 Audacious Project cohort: HERE

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) develops and enforces a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy, IRAP serves the world’s most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders.

Launched in April 2018, The Audacious Project is a collaborative funding initiative that’s catalyzing social impact on a grand scale. Housed at TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, and with support from leading social impact advisor The Bridgespan Group, The Audacious Project convenes funders and social entrepreneurs with the goal of supporting bold solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges. The funding collective is made up of respected organizations and individuals in philanthropy, including the Skoll Foundation, Virgin Unite, The Valhalla Charitable Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies and more. The Audacious Project works with the Science Philanthropy Alliance to identify and vet high-quality basic science projects. Each year The Audacious Project supports a new cohort. The 2021-2022 recipients are The Center for Tech and Civic Life, ClimateWorks: Drive Electric, Code for America, Glasswing International, The International Refugee Assistance Project, myAgro, Noora Health, The Tenure Facility, and Woodwell Climate Research Center.