Number of deaths, refugees increases since Syria’s ceasefire

By April 25, 2012

Syria (MNN) — Three people were wounded in a car bomb blast in Damascus yesterday. According to reports, on Monday nearly 60 people were killed–half of the deaths a result of a government assault in Arbaeen.

Syria agreed to a U.N.-sanctioned ceasefire nearly two weeks ago, and U.N. observers have been in the country over a week. The European Union and the United States have even imposed new sanctions on Syria.

Yet the violence seems far from over.

"The number of refugees, the number of needs in the country, and those pouring out of the country, are just constantly growing," says executive director of Baptist Global Response Jeff Palmer. "Whatever ceasefire, whatever agreements are in place, it's not slowing down the carnage that's happening."

Since non-governmental organizations are prohibited from entering Syria to deliver humanitarian aid, BGR has had to work from the outside. As violence escalates in Syria, so do the number of refugees leaving; BGR is trying to help as many of them as they can.

Confused, angry, and even hopeless, Syrians fleeing to bordering nations are met by BGR partners on the ground. BGR maintained these partners long before the violence began and can therefore trust these believers to efficiently deliver aid and even spiritual care.

Recently, BGR has had to grab the hands of even more partners to take care of the rising needs.

"We just approved another project of assistance. We're helping with things like food packages, hygiene projects, clothing, diaper, and baby care," says Palmer. This will take care of more refugees, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. "Just to the south, you're looking at over 100,000 folks; to the west you're looking at 100,000-150,000 folks that have come out of the country in the last couple of months."

With such high and rising needs at hand, BGR has only been able to provide about half of the funding needed for these projects. What has been sent has been met with grateful hands. Palmer says Syrian refugees have not only recognized the generosity of BGR affiliates, but have even been opening up to the Gospel as a result.

Daily headlines coming out of Syria make it easy to dismiss, says Palmer. "Syria is a difficult place right now. With everything that's happened, it's almost like it's become a forgotten area. But there's a lot of suffering that's going on."

Palmer urges believers to remember Syria in prayer and even in resources. Since BGR is working with partners already on the ground, they have zero administration costs for this project. Thus, 100% of all that people give is spent directly on aid. Click here to help.

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