Syria in the News
February 28, 2012
caught up in political crisis receive humanitarian aid from United Church of
Christ supported partners.
The ongoing political
crisis in Syria has caused tens of thousands to be caught in the crossfire
between government and opposition forces. The result? Thousands of Syrians have
fled their homes, choosing to escape the violence. Many have migrated to neighboring
countries, and many are arriving to more stable areas of Syria.
Rough estimates indicate that large numbers of internally displaced persons are
arriving into the capital of Damascus from high-conflict areas throughout the
country. Specific numbers of the displaced are not available, but entire
neighborhoods and villages have reportedly been deserted.
The deteriorating economic conditions led by the 11-month conflict and
sanctions imposed on Syria have created high levels of unemployment and
inflation. Since March 2011, the Syrian pound has depreciated against the U.S.
dollar by nearly 70 percent, significantly affecting ordinary Syrians who now
find it difficult to pay for food, rent and fuel. The rise in prices is driving
lower-income Syrians more deeply into poverty.
In short, the losses in both income and in the value of currency; the rise of
unemployment; staggering inflation; and the lack of security have created a
pressing humanitarian situation among Syrians. The danger posed to Syrian
children by the current unrest is compromising their well-being and rights to
protection and development. The emergency is also undermining primary
healthcare and jeopardizing child nutrition and health.
United Church of Christ is supporting the emergency response of CWS and
International Orthodox Christian Charities, which has a long track record in
responding to humanitarian emergencies in the Middle East, particularly to the
needs of the displaced, and has utilized CWS material goods such as blankets
and health kits. In addition, The
Forum for Development, Culture and Dialogue, one of our Middle East regional
partner organizations based in Lebanon, received emergency OGHS funds to
provide crucial humanitarian assistance to needy families engulfed in the
Syrian political crisis.
CWS Gift of the Heart
Baby, Hygiene and School kits, prepared by UCC members and others, valued in
excess of $300,000 are on their way to the region.
One Great Hour of
Sharing emergency funds are supporting immediate needs that include rent
assistance; fuel; livelihoods; and proper food; as well as non-food items such
as bedding and other household items, clothing and psycho-social assistance.
The UCC supported response will be based throughout the Middle East region in
countries where the displaced are now living.
Because of constantly changing circumstances, the number of beneficiaries is in
flux. At this point, CWS and FDCD can report that at least 30,000 beneficiaries
will be assisted and that the number could increase to as many as 75,000
beneficiaries, given present humanitarian conditions.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Pray for the people of Syria and all those striving
to provide humanitarian assistance.
2. To assist people impacted by this and other crisis, please
make a gift payable to your congregation marked for “International Emergency”
with the request it be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church
Send gifts, made out to United Church of Christ and
marked in the memo portion “International Emergency” to United Church of Christ; Financial
Services; 700 Prospect Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44115.
Make a secure online donation to the International Disaster Relief fund.
Thank you for your compassion and support.