Conflict in Syria four years on is world’s largest humanitarian crisis

[Anglican Alliance] As the terrible torment of the Syrian people continues into its fifth year, the #withSyria coalition of international agencies calls on world leaders to fulfill their commitments to bring an end to the conflict and suffering.

The Syrian crisis is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today. More than 200,000 people have been killed and more than half of all Syrians have been forced to abandon their homes. More than 7.5 million people are displaced within Syria and four million have fled to neighboring lands in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan.

In total, 12 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations calls it “the worst humanitarian crisis of our time.” Recent freezing winter conditions have made vulnerable families ever more at risk, particularly children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The #withSyria coalition has launched a global petition calling on world leaders to do more to end the suffering of the Syrian people.

#withSyria calls for:

  • a significant increase to the humanitarian response
  • asylum safety for refugees
  • an end to attacks on civilians
  • a political solution respecting human rights

The campaign highlights the horror of the situation but also the courage and resilience of the Syrian people. Dr. Hassan, who is a surgeon in Aleppo, Syria, said: “Marwan was on the operating table when the lights blinked and fizzed out. The nurse pulled her mobile phone from her pocket – generating the only light in the pitch-black basement. Others followed suit, producing just enough light to allow me to finish repairing his broken little body.”

Raya, a mother of four who fled from Dara’a to a refugee camp in Jordan, said: “One should never give up hope. I hold on to any bits of hope because I do not want to fall. Even if I do fall, I must stand up on my feet again in order to support and protect my children.”

Among others in the international community, many Anglican and ecumenical agencies are involved in the humanitarian response, through their ACT Alliance sister agency, the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), to reach people with food, bedding, water clothes, shelter, healthcare and education.

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (Canada)
Anglican Board of Mission (Australia)
Anglican Overseas Aid (Australia)
Christian Aid (UK)

PWRDF has also responded to the needs of Syrians affected by the conflict as part of Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s (CFGB) $4 million response which provides food for some 55,000 displaced people and refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan each month.

To date they have reached more than two million vulnerable people working often in the most volatile areas.

Episcopal Relief & Development (USA) is responding through the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches’ (FMEEC) relief efforts in Syria.

The Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association is supporting refugees in Amman, Jordan.

PWRDF has also written to the Canadian government out of a growing concern over the plight of Syrian refugees.

Christian Aid’s partners in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria are working to provide vital assistance to thousands of displaced families by distributing food, fuel for cooking, hygiene and sanitation kits, water containers, cash assistance and psychosocial support.

Us (formerly USPG), through their Rapid Response Syria appeal, are supporting an education program, run in partnership with Embrace Middle East, for children whose families have fled the turmoil in Syria.

The Anglican Alliance asks that we all people come together to pray and act for peace in Syria and for humanitarian support to its suffering peoples.

Sign the petition at www.withsyria.com and support the appeals linked above.

Comments

  1. Another avenue to help probably the most fragile of all the refugees is to support the work that the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf is doing in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan. HLID is providing assessment and treatment for disabled children and adults. They are bringing in audiologists, physical therapists and other specialists to address the needs of blind and low vision, deaf and physically disabled refugees. They provide appropriate glasses, hearing aids, braces and wheelchairs to those whose lives have been ravaged.

    Tax deductible gifts can be made through the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, http://www.afedj.org or by mail at 25 Old King’s Highway North, Suite 13, Darien CT 06820. The Diocese of Jerusalem is offering other programs to refugees in Amman and Marka, Jordan. Brother Andrew, Director of HLID will be in the US in early May to meet donors and tell of HLID’s important work.

    These families face unimaginable crisis. We can do something now to help.

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