“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them, that’s the essence of inhumanity” - George Bernard Shaw.
For over three years a bloody civil war in Syria has left more than 9.3 million people in need of urgent assistance and more than 2 million fleeing to the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Today, multitudes of refugees have lost everything and are struggling to survive. Their situation is only getting worse as the conflict continues and there seems to be no end in sight. These hosting countries do not have the capacity to accommodate such a vast number of people. Struggling to cope, they are overwhelmed and crying out for help.
Imagine for a moment how NZ would feel if we had an average of 100,000 people arriving on our shores every week - fleeing from the violence of their country? Some being placed in refugee camps, others – we’re encouraged to take into our own homes. And 100,000 more were coming next week…
The UN officially declared the Syrian Crisis as “the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of the cold war.”
Most of the Syrian refugee families displaced to the surrounding countries remain without full refugee status. This uncertainty means that the refugee families don’t have access to medical services, cannot always access the UN food rations and cannot seek employment.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
SYRIA: "I don’t know whether my husband is dead or alive. I have seven children and I have to look after them. We used to live in Syria until our town was bombarded by rockets and bombs. We left there a year ago, and we were all trying to escape. We got to the checkpoint to leave the country and they would only allow women and children through, not men. That was the last time I saw my husband. For a whole year, I haven’t known where he is. Since then, we have stayed in different places, and now we have arrived in this makeshift camp ten days ago. I have brought my seven children here. We don’t have clothes or food. Nothing. We arrived here with nothing." - Misha, 28 - Syria
JORDAN: Jalil and Adila live in Jordan, in a bare apartment with only a few rugs on the floor. There is no food in the kitchen. Their three children have no possessions except for a couple of certificates they were able to bring from the school they used to attend in Syria. Everything else was taken from them on the journey from Damascus. They had tried to stay in Syria, because they knew that to leave the country would be difficult for them. ‘Terrible things happened in our streets,’ Jalil told Tearfund. ‘With my own eyes, I saw people planting bombs in cars, and women being raped in the street. I could not let my wife and children live there any longer.’
HOW TEAR FUND IS RESPONDING
TEAR Fund partners are currently assisting displaced families in these neighboring countries, by firstly providing food, water and shelter. We’re working with the hungry, the cold and the sick but we need your help to continue this work! For the hungry we’re providing stoves and emergency food distribution and for the sick, our health clinics are a lifeline. We’re also providing blankets and mattresses, and financial assistance for those who have welcomed refugees into their homes so that families can buy food, and creating child-friendly spaces where kids can play.
With your help, we have raised nearly $700,000 for the people of Syria and are continuing to act as a lifeline for many. In Lebanon, we helped prepare refugees living in self-made tents for winter, which were not enough to cope in temperatures which regularly fall below freezing. In North Iraq, we have set up a child protection programme, providing psychological support to children traumatized by the war and looking after kids who were orphaned by the war.
To continue supporting the millions of refugees affected by this deadly war, we need your help.
TEAR Fund is responding to this disaster as a member of the Integral Alliance.