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Syrian IDPs are forgotten, ignored

By July 31, 2015
(Photo courtesy Food for the Hungry)

(Photo courtesy Food for the Hungry)

Middle East (FH/MNN) — The Islamic State’s cruel treatment of their captives has been documented for the world to see. While drownings, burnings, and beheadings by ISIS have dominated the international headlines, an equally violated group is forgotten: internally displaced people (IDP) in Syria.

According to Food for the Hungry (FH), “Syria has over 12 million people in need of humanitarian need, including 7.6 million IDPs–the largest number of any country in the world,”

Nearly 80% of IDPs are being housed in private areas, and around 4% are living in camps, churches, schools, abandoned buildings, and informal settlements. While 4% might not sound like a lot, that’s actually more than 300,000 individuals living in unstable establishments.

Most of the time, conditions are cramped and overcrowded. Diseases are infesting the areas, and families are underfed. But housing issues are just the beginning of the problems for IDPs.

“As well as the very basics of having a force like ISIS wreaking havoc on society, there are a number of human rights abuses going on as well,” FH explains.

Civilians, clinics, and hospitals are being targeted in air raids and warfare. Innocent men, women, and children have been killed in these bombings. Recently, Middle East Eye News reported four field hospitals in southern Syria had to close after repeated bombings by government forces left workers injured.

And, children under the age of 18 are being recruited into the armed forces, even though it is against the law. Middle East Eye News reported at least 59 children were recruited, and several died in combat this past June.

IDP women, in particular, are being victimized. While some women have voluntarily signed up for the military to defend their families, others are being forced into recruitment.

In refugee and IDP camps, women are facing sexual violence, and human trafficking.

“The sexual exploitation of Syrian refugees is not confined to a particular country, and many girls are being sold at auctions,” says Al-Monitor News.

Though millions are suffering and battling an assortment of human rights abuses, FH is providing comfort by giving food, clothing, and shelter in the name of Jesus.

Between the months of April and June 2015, a ministry of partners of Food for the Hungry–the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD)–worked hard to help IDPs and refugees, and they have seen great success.

Between Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, the group has provided monthly food assistance to more than 7,000 refugee or IDP families. They’ve given monthly medical assistance to 100 Iraqi families, treated 100 Syrian patients, and given 240 kids a chance to attend a “Child Friendly Space.”

While no one can do everything, everyone can do something. Pray for more resources and funding to provide Syrian refugees with physical help and spiritual hope found in Christ. You could help provide that support by clicking here!

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