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Middle East2 min read


Syrian Refugee Camps: Winter Extends the Suffering

Vernon Brewer
Dec 04, 2012

Shells explode in the distance. Shouting. A woman’s cry. The sobbing of a child. Bloodstained streets.

The Syrian border is only a few miles away, but for hundreds of thousands of refugees, the nightmare is far from over. The biting winds signal the coming of winter, and the landscape looks barren and bleak.

Having escaped from the onslaught of brutality being waged in their home country, most Syrians hoped these temporary camps would serve as safe havens from the violence and fear. Instead, they have become a holding tank for riots, a place where women and children are kidnapped and sold to traffickers . . . the road to a “slow death” as many refugees have called it.

The violence that began with anti-government protests in the spring of 2011 has escalated into a full-blown crisis. More than 40,000 Syrians have lost their lives since the uprising began. Many were slaughtered in their own homes—even the children did not escape.

Syrian WomanRecent counts indicate that over 385,000 Syrian refugees have fled to the Syrian border and are trying to survive in the neighboring nations of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. Over a million more have been internally displaced because of the fighting.

Desperation is rising as the temperatures drop. The meager shelters in the camps are not enough to shield from the weather, much less the violence within.

Our network of aid workers on the ground tells me that food supplies are not sufficient to meet the needs of the masses. Hunger is sweeping through the streets, and sickness from the lack of proper sanitation is following at a staggering pace.

Our immediate response is crucial in the fight to save thousands of lives.

Refugees have now resorted to finding other dwellings outside the camps. As a result, dozens of people are cramming into abandoned buildings or single-room shelters, and the demand for food and medicine is urgent and extensive there.

In response to these overwhelming needs, our humanitarian aid strategy has primarily been to those on the outskirts of the refugee camps where there is no aid available. Our partners are strategically positioned to assess the needs and respond to these individuals and families efficiently and effectively. As we speak, they are working tirelessly to distribute staple food supplies and life-saving medicine to thousands.

Provisions are almost entirely depleted. As the winter months approach, we must act before it’s too late.

Your gift can make an immediate difference:

  • $20 will feed and provide medicine for one refugee child for one month
  • $100 will make these provisions available for an entire Syrian family for one month
  • $1,200 provides these same vital supplies for a family for one year

Today, I’m asking you to consider the thousands of refugee children who will go to sleep hungry tonight because of this crisis. Consider the refugee mother who is dangerously ill, but cannot afford medicine. Consider the refugee father who feels hopeless because he cannot provide for his family.

Sending life-saving provisions to a Syrian family is one of the best gifts you can give. Please respond generously today.

Together, we can help save many lives . . . and make a difference that will last for eternity.

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