The ELCA released a statement today urging increased financial support for Syrian refugees and internally-displaced persons as well as encouraging refugee resettlement in the US and other countries. The ELCA presented the statement to the hearing on the Syrian Refugee Crisis held by the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. Read full statement.
The ELCA's recent statement concluded:
As the Subcommittee considers how best the U.S. can help protect and support vulnerable Syrian refugees, the ELCA recommends the following:
• The U.S. Government should increase its financial support to the region as a necessary to means to meet the basic short-term needs of Syrian refugees. The ELCA recommends that the U.S. government further appropriate resources in order to keep up with the growing basic food and housing needs of refugees living in either camp or urban settings. An increase in financial support to help Syria’s neighbors meet the basic needs of its refugees is necessary. The U.S should also encourage its international partners to increase support for refugee-hosting countries through development assistance, bilateral aid, and increased funding of U.N. humanitarian appeals.
• The U.S. must help the international community to open all parts of Syria for humanitarian access. Any effort to ease the refugee situation in neighboring countries should take in to consideration measures that can alleviate the dire conditions of IDPs and IDDPs. Such measures require that the U.S. help the international community to open all parts of Syria for humanitarian access. NGO and church partners are prepared to further carry out these important humanitarian aims should additional resources be made available and should Syria be opened so that humanitarian help can reach those who need it.
• All vulnerable Syrian refugees should have access to the U.S. Resettlement Program. Supplementary resources need to be made available for Syrian refugees so that additional Syrian arrivals into the U.S. do not disrupt the regional allocations as outlined in the FY2014 Presidential Memorandum for Refugee Admissions. Syrian refugees should be welcomed in addition to the 70,000 already allocated for arrival in FY2014.