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Pamela Burdine
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Louisville, KY 40202

Syria crisis deepens — especially for children


Syrian boy smiling

photo by Paul Jeffrey, ACT

“Each time you blink another person is forced to flee," said the UN’s top representative responsible for refugees, Antonio Guterres, as he announced rocketing new figures for displaced people around the world.

There are now more families living in forced exile from their homes than at any time since 1994, when the Balkan wars and the Rwanda massacres were making millions flee. The total is calculated to stand at over 45 million individuals worldwide.

The upward spike in today’s numbers in large part has been driven by the Syrian crisis, now more than two years old.  Approximately 1.6 million people have been displaced outside the border of Syria since the fighting began, with an additional 4.25 million displaced internally.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is helping to provide basic humanitarian assistance of food, water and shelter, especially to Syrian refugees in the Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan. Children and youth under 18 make up more than 55 percent of the population of the camp.

In addition to helping to meet basic needs, Assistance includes providing community-based psychosocial support services, including a safe environment for children to play and to attend school.

One of the things especially needed are Gift of the Heart school kits. Gift of the Heart School kits will provide some of the basic supplies needed by the children for school.  Information on making the kits can be found on the PDA website.

Visit the Syria response index.

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Upcoming Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Events

PHP Advisory Committee

March 30 - April 1, 2014

Presbyterian Hunger Program Advisory Committee meets March 30 - April 1, 2014, in New Orleans, LA, in conjunction with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Advisory Committee and Self-Development of People Steering Committee.

PDA Advisory Committee

March 30 - April 1, 2014

In a One Great Hour of Sharing Joint Meeting, The PDA Advisory Committee will meet in conjunction with PHP Advisory Committee and the SDOP Steering Committee March 30 – April 1 at the Omni Royal Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. Discussions will include the work and vision of each department, long term Presbyterian involvement, issues and generative thinking.  A mission site tour will be made, followed individual committee meetings, and PHP will visit grant partner, Latino Farmer’s Cooperative of Louisiana.

PDA Advisory Committee

Oct. 8 - 10, 2014

PDA Advisory Committee meets October 8–10 in Louisville.

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