The Trials Of Old Age Essay
At time when more than 59 million people are displaced worldwideㅡthe highest on record according to UN reportsㅡless than half of those individuals have received refugee status.
Based on data from the United Nations refugee agency, around 3 percent of the refugees coming to the U.S. are 60 years old or older.
According to the Refugee Processing Center, over 1,000 refugees arrived in Illinois since October. Many settle in or around Chicago, which has just five resettlement agencies to help them adjust to life in the U.S.
Private donors must provide most of the support for these organizations. In April of 2015, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner suspended $26 million in public health and social service grants. Of that, he froze $3.4 million for immigrant integration programs, many of which provided education and support that older refugees desperately need.
“Many of these populations are pretty vulnerable, coming from different societies with things that are completely different, and need a helping hand to guide them to find their way,” said Nancy Asirifi-Otchere, the program coordinator of the United African Organization. “They’re being cut off, slashed off from support through the government, and that’s a big problem. A really big problem.”
Underfunding valuable resources hurts the entire…