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Middle East and Europe Refugee Crisis

The Situation:

Over the last seven years, the conflict in Syria has been increasingly dire. According to a report by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), there are an estimated 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Of these, 6.3 million are internally displaced, 12.8 million require health assistance, 5.8 million are in acute need due to multiple displacements, exposure to hostilities, and limited access to basic goods and services, and 4.3 million are in need of shelter intervention.

Alongside the internally displaced, the needs of those living outside the country continue to be great. The critical response for the refugee situation continues to fall primarily on the neighboring countries in the region (mainly Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey) who continue to host large numbers of registered refugees per capita. The protracted crisis in Syria has resulted in a quasi-permanent presence of a Syrian refugee community in both Jordan and Lebanon and despite the efforts by the Government of Jordan to open up the formal labor market to Syrian refugees, many still require humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs.

On Friday, April 12th, The United States and allies bombed areas in Syria in response to alleged chemical attacks by Syria on its own territory. Following the strike, the Lutheran World Federation issued a statement calling for peaceful resolution and the upholding of international law.  In a pastoral statement, Bishop Eaton says, “…[W]e will continue to work in ecumenical partnership as we pray, advocate and work to receive refugees.”

Our Response:

Lutheran Disaster Response has been and will continue to meet the basic humanitarian needs and upholding the rights of those fleeing war and oppression. We are working with our trusted partners and companion churches, who are helping provide safety, support and basic amenities. Your gifts can help ensure food security, establish shelter, provide better access to water and sanitation facilities, bolster livelihoods through cash transfers and skills training, provide psychosocial support and more, all for our neighbors in need.

What you can do:

Pray for those who are affected by violence and are vulnerable, that they may be granted peace and healing.

Your gifts are needed now to help with immediate relief. Gifts designated for the Middle East and Europe Refugee Crisis will be used in full (100 percent) to assist those directly impacted and have fled for safety.

To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response:

  • Find resources to inform your congregation and encourage support.
  • Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts.
  • Stay up on the latest ELCA news.
  • Check the Lutheran Disaster Response blog.

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