Aid crisis in Syrian refugee camps

By October 3, 2012

Syria (CAM/MNN) — With tens of thousands fleeing Syria every month, the number of refugees worldwide in 2012 is set to be the highest this century, according to a senior United Nations official.

Yet, the General Assembly of the United Nations ended without resolution for Syria.

Although there's been talk everywhere about possible solutions, Christian Aid Mission spokesman Bill Bray says, "We have an open window. We need to react right now, and that's why we're calling for more containers to be shipped this week."

"We urgently need big gifts and the prayers of God's people now," agrees the Christian Aid Mission Middle East director (name withheld for security), who goes on to say, "Jordan continues to be one of the last safe havens for Syrian refugees; we need an explosion of love there immediately. We have containers, loads of love ready to go."

Bray says, "You would think that the Red Crescent, the Red Cross, the United Nations, and the American government would do something," but politics seems to have tied their hands. The urgency is mounting because "we're heading into winter, and the refugees are coming in light summer dress, with just what they've got on their backs. So now, as the bitter cold and freezing cold begins, warm clothing is really important."

How soon? This week, says Bray. According to Save the Children, the northern-most camp was set up to house 10,000 people, but it has already grown to almost 20,000, with as many as 3300 people arriving daily.

Jordan has so far resisted pressure by Sunni Jihadists from nearby Saudi and Qatar to cleanse Christians and moderate Muslims. The Islamic Jihad is succeeding to divide up Syrian territory under various militias in order to help bring down the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite Muslim who has protected the Christian minority.

Salafi extremists, who insist on Sharia law, are behind the efforts to cleanse Syria of Christians and moderate Muslims–and they're forcing the Christians to flee. Added to their numbers are those fleeing the violence between the Assad regime and rebel soldiers. Refugees are going anywhere they can: Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey.

Jordan's refugee accommodations are simply overwhelmed by sheer numbers, and there is no safety net. Bray admits they're asking big, but he says it's a crisis measured in a big scale. "Every day, we need to be shipping off one or two more containers to Jordan to get this food there in time."

It takes $7000 to send each container load of critical supplies to welcome the refugees. The ministry has $300,000 worth of food and medicine ready to ship. "The door is open now," says their Middle East director, "despite threats from radical Salafi terrorists to march against the King of Jordan on October 10 and allow ethnic or religious cleansing of Christians, Bedouins, and moderate Muslims in Jordan." However, Bray also notes that so far, these are only threats and should not delay aid shipments because lives depend on getting supplies out.

Indigenous missionaries on the ground are expecting at least another million Syrian refugees to flee into Jordan in the next six months, despite the threats from Salafi terrorists who have been emboldened by their success in killing the American ambassador in Libya.

In percentage terms, Jordan now has the largest refugee population on earth–accounting for half of the entire population. However, the Christians are ready to respond, says Bray. "In every front-line state, we have a network of local, indigenous Christian volunteers and full-time staff people who are there to deliver this aid, and they're out doing it, so we need to give them more help."

"Only the churches are in place with a unique network to help provide these desperate families with hope, spiritual support, and inner healing," says a field leader in Jordan.

Most of the Christians who flee Syria, he says, are nominal believers who need to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and be absorbed into local fellowships after their immediate needs are met–food, water, clothing, medical care and housing.

"Only the churches can help them find long-term solutions," he added, "such as earning a living, educating the children and living permanently in Jordan."

In addition to the container shipments, at least $150,000 will be needed now to keep food parcels going out, supply blankets and winter clothing.

Another emergency need is an additional delivery vehicle to distribute critical supplies. "$32,000 is needed for a light truck–which can be purchased nearby and driven into the country," says the leader.

Hearing such big numbers can be overwhelming, says Bray. People might be thinking they can't help at all because they don't have thousands of dollars to give. However, every bit helps. He explains, "$45 is enough to supply a refugee family with medicines; $12 is the cost of an Arabic Bibles. We give every refugee family a Bible; a food packet for a refugee family, $55/month."

"We are looking to American believers to help. We have no one else to go to now," says the field leader. A special fund has been set up by Christian Aid coded 400REF to aid the Syrian Christians during this time of crisis.

Among the biggest needs of refugees are child sponsorships (for education), family medical supply, Bibles, food packets, rent assistance. Go to our Featured Links Section for a link to help.


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