How can you help refugees and asylum seekers in the COVID-19 emergency?

12 June 2020
A November 2015 file image of a volunteer holding a refugee child after arriving from Turkey on the island of Lesbos, Greece. Image: Aleksandr Lutcenko/


How you can help during the COVID-19 emergency

14–20 June Refugee Week Fact Sheet


COVID–19 has affected so many within our community, but has greatly impacted people seeking asylum within our diocese. Many have no access to any safety net of support.

This Refugee Week, you can make a difference and support people in desperate need.

DOWNLOAD: the fact sheet from the Diocese of Parramatta’s Social Justice Office here.

Many seeking asylum and their families:

  • Are excluding from JobKeeper, JobSeeker, Medicare or income assistance
  • Have lost their jobs
  • Cannot pay their rent and are facing homelessness
  • Struggling to feed their families
  • Facing a winter without heat
  • Are facing destitution


Within our Diocese*:

  • Emergency assistance calls increased by 400%
  • 77% increase to request for food bank items
  • Increase in domestic violence incidents
  • Dramatic increase in mental health support needed
  • Eviction notices given to asylum seekers including those with families, some living in informal, difficult situations
  • Services facing a reduced level of volunteers and donations
  • House of Welcome & Jesuit Refugee Service need to provide 430 food bags that feed 1100 women, men and children weekly.

*Statistics provided by House of Welcome and Jesuit Refugee Service


We are called to action:

“In the faces of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, strangers and prisoners, we are called to see the face of Christ who pleads with us to help,”

– Pope Francis

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis, for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2020.


What we can do:



Sign the petition to make sure no one, including people seeking asylum, gets left behind during COVID-19:


  • How to run a food drive:
    1. Select a co–ordinator
    2. Select drop-off point & time
    3. Share what’s needed with your community as well as when and where people can drop off items
    4. Co-ordinator & team collects items & drops-off items to House of Welcome or Jesuit Refugee Service
  • Items needed:
    • New winter blankets
    • Basmati Rice
    • Cooking Oil
    • Long life milk
    • Tinned tuna, red kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas and fruit
    • Biscuits & muesli bars
    • Oats & cereal
    • Tinned tomatoes
    • Tea & Coffee
  • Toiletries:
    • Nappies (large sizes)
    • Toothpaste & toothbrushes
    • Shampoo
    • Sanitary pads & napkins
    • Razors & shaving foam
    • Deodorant (male & female)
    • Soap
  • To arrange drop-off of items collected, contact:

DOWNLOAD: the fact sheet from the Diocese of Parramatta’s Social Justice Office here.


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