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Pamela Burdine
(800) 728-7228, x5839
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100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Syria – situation report update


Syrian refugee toddler in red jacket

A refugee child in Zaatari, now the second largest refugee camp in the world. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, ACT

PDA is responding to the rising violence that continues to impact Syrians. Approximately 6.8 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance due to the ongoing conflict.

There are more than 2 million Syrian refugees being hosted across five countries — Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt — each with its own set of domestic priorities and concerns in which events in Syria and the influx of refugees are increasingly playing a central role.

Many who have crossed the Syrian border are experiencing a different type of crisis: life in a refugee camp where the needs to provide water, sanitation, food, shelter, health care and security greatly stretches the organizations providing these services.

OCHA bulletin thumbnail

The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan has become the second largest refugee camp in the world (behind the Dadaab camp in Kenya) and has become Jordan’s fourth largest city. Over 60% of the camp’s population is children, and many of the households are headed by women.  Recent numbers estimate that almost half of the number of refugees — a staggering one million — are children.

Read a partial report from the August/September OCHA Humanitarian Bulletin focused on Syria.

Response

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) continues, through the National Evangelical (Presbyterian) Synod of Syria and Lebanon and the ACT Alliance, to provide food, hygiene kits, bedding, support to health workers, provision of psychosocial counselors, and support for students to continue their education.

The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, joined with more than 20 ecumenical colleagues, in calling on the United States government to keep its attention on the Syrian Civil War and act accordingly to bring stability and peace to the region; and on August 30, 2013, issued a statement in the wake of the escalating violence in Syria.  PC(USA) has also issued a Call to Action in which The Rev. Parsons urges people to personally engage Congress about Syria and to pray.

How you can help

Stand in the GAP for disaster survivors as you Give, Act, and Pray.

Give.  Please generously share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000081 – Middle East. Write “Syria” on the reference line if mailing a check.

Act

  • More than 26,100 Gift of the Heart school kits have been sent to provide some of the basic supplies needed for children in refugee camps. Learn how to make the kits.

Pray.  At this difficult and uncertain time, PDA asks that you keep the people of Syria in your thoughts and prayers.  Please pray:

  • For all those whose lives have been and continue to be affected,
  • For those who have lost friends and family during this crisis,
  • For those who are displaced,
  • For those working to deliver humanitarian assistance,
  • For an end to violence and the beginning of negotiations for a solution that meets the democratic aspiration of the Syrian people,
  • That access will be open for humanitarian assistance to get through to those in need.

 Visit the Syria disaster response index for previous PDA updates and the World Mission website for background information on Syria.

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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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