Target: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Goal: Urge the global community to provide more humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees
Syrians facing hunger and dangerous conditions are flooding into to Northern Iraq and other neighboring countries seeking refuge. The flight is due to a 20-month-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, but life in refugee camps presents yet another battle for survival.
A group of reporters from Anadolu Agency captured the struggle of Syrians who fled to a small village after traveling in cold and snowy weather. Many of the Syrians in this village are infants and children, and do not have enough to eat or proper clothing for the inclement weather conditions.
Images of the elderly and young children walking barefoot on mud and cold soil, people walking in treacherous conditions only with slippers, young women trying to protect their babies from cold, and children whose clothes and hair partly froze could be seen by observers. People are burning their only remaining possessions to try and stay warm. With aid agencies expecting the number of Syrian refugees to reach one million this year and estimates for the cost of caring for them topping $1 billion, the misery in refugee camps is part of a deepening humanitarian crisis that threatens to destabilize the Middle East further.
According to the U.N., more than half a million people have already fled Syria and are in camps located in villages across the Middle East. Recently in Zaatari, Jordan, two babies and a 22 year old amputee passed away when several tents collapsed during a storm. There have also been riots during food distribution, causing injury to aid workers.
“There’s no silver lining on such harsh conditions,” acknowledged Andrew Harper, the top official of the United Nations refugee agency in Jordan. “It’s just a really, really bad place to be.” The U.S. State Department’s Kelly Clements, who helps oversee U.S. aid for Syria, says these growing numbers will increase the Syrian people’s calls for aid. “The needs will likely double going forward in terms of the first half of 2013,” she said. So far, the United States is the biggest donor of humanitarian aid to Syria with nearly $200 million already provided.
U.S. officials are calling for more international aid to Syria’s population. U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford says the United States will press others in the international community to provide increased humanitarian aid for Syrians.
Call on the international community to bring aid to the people of Syria.
The people of Syria, especially the vulnerable like children and the elderly, desperately need your help. Without a concerted effort from the international community to provide aid to those who have fled Syria, we run the risk of further destabilizing a very tumultuous part of the world, as well as a full-blown humanitarian crisis.
Providing more aid to this part of the world is not only the smart thing to do for the safety and stability of the Middle East, it is the right thing to do. Please work to help those who are suffering due to freezing temperatures, hunger, and illness and work to send aid to struggling Syrians in refugee camps.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: DVIDSHUB via flickr