Regardless of what the United States ends up doing with regard to Syria, refugees are fleeing the country and need serious help. Foundation Beyond Belief (a group I work with) has launched a fundraising drive to benefit the International Rescue Committee, specifically to help those who have been displaced and separated from their families as a result of the chaos in the region:
- In Syria, more than 700,000 vulnerable people have been served to date with medical and emergency supplies. The IRC’s Emergency Response Team is at work in camps for the displaced, providing clean water and sanitation, education to primary students, and emergency supplies to families.
- In Jordan, the IRC provides reproductive health care, cash assistance, and social services to refugee families, as well as counseling and other support for survivors of sexual violence. In Jordan’s refugee camps, the IRC is providing technical support for refugee women and girls and helping to reunite children with their families.
- In Lebanon, the IRC operates four Women’s Centers for refugees and medical consultations. They are also helping hundreds of refugee families with cash assistance, enabling them to pay for rent, food, utilities, and other essentials.
- In Iraq, at the Domiz camp in the north, the IRC provides camp management and a safe space for women. They are also building a secondary school for refugee children. At Al Qaim camp, near the border with Syria, the IRC is providing free legal assistance, mobilizing community groups, and helping survivors of sexual violence.
A unique aspect of the IRC’s work is its emphasis on protecting women and preventing gender-based violence in situations of mass displacement. Click here for the IRC’s latest Syrian crisis updates.
“No matter what the military or political situation is, the human situation is catastrophic. The relief organizations on the ground are doing heroic work, and the humanist community is stepping up to help,” said Dale McGowan, FBB’s executive director.
Even worse, as Fred Clark notes:
The current lack of funding to assist such refugees, Rebecca Gang reports for The Guardian, means that some are risking their lives by returning home, hoping for better odds of survival amid the violence there than in refugee camps.
Back when we did fundraisers for American natural disasters, you all came through in a big way. This issue is no less important and perhaps even needs more of your help since it’s not as “close to home” as the recent disasters were. We need people to pay attention and help out. If you can, please consider donating here.
100% of all donations will go directly to the IRC.