“There’s a tremendous desire from people around the world to respond to this crisis. The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative creates opportunities for citizens to engage with and participate in a humanitarian effort—for the benefit of refugees and for the benefit of the communities that they live in.”  
Gregory A. Maniatis, Director, International Migration Initiative, Open Society Foundations

About the GRSI

The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative works to assist and inspire countries around the world to open new pathways for refugee protection. We do this by sharing Canada’s history, experience, and leadership in private sponsorship and by supporting the creation of new programs that countries design to meet their unique needs. Through our work with local organizers, we aim to:

  • increase and improve global refugee resettlement by engaging private citizens, communities, and businesses in resettlement efforts;
  • strengthen local host communities that come together to welcome newcomers; and
  • improve the narrative about refugees and other newcomers.

Our Partners

The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) is a joint initiative led by the Government of Canada; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the Open Society Foundations; The Giustra Foundation; The Shapiro Foundation, and the University of Ottawa.

GRSI at Work

The GRSI was announced in New York City in conjunction with the UN and US Refugee Summits, and was formally launched in Ottawa, Canada in December 2016. 

In June 2017, the GRSI launched its official website at the UNHCR’s Annual Tri-Partite Consultations on Resettlement in Geneva. See the press release about GRSI's recent activities.

In July 2017, the GRSI travelled to the United Kingdom to attend a roadshow aimed at promoting community sponsorship of refugees. See the press release about the UK Roadshow here

In September 2017, the GRSI launched its Guidebook and announced its work on community sponsorship with several countries. Read the press release here

Kids and globe
Photo provided by the Giustra Foundation