|Syrians fleeing war risk being forgotten: Join AVSI in #10forSyria|
President Obama and Pope Francis agree: the international community must act now to protect the most vulnerable Syrians fleeing their homes. To date, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 90,000 in two years and has caused over a million more to flee, including over 530,000 in Lebanon and 475,000 in Jordan, two countries where AVSI has been dedicating all of its energy to meet the needs of the people arriving daily. A course of action has been set by President Obama, who pledged Monday to provide millions in aid for Syrians in need, and by Pope Francis, who in his message to Prime Minister David Cameron for the G8 underlined the connection between peace and humanitarian assistance:
“Peace demands a far-sighted renunciation of certain claims, in order to build together a more equitable and just peace. …an essential prerequisite for the protection of women, children and other innocent victims, and for making a start towards conquering hunger.”
Taking advantage of its knowledge of the region, AVSI has actively sought out Syrian families at risk of being overlooked by channels of aid and is working to provide them with the necessities they lack. Right now as summer approaches, the most urgent needs are as simple as clean water, remedial lessons to ensure that children displaced from their homes can still attend school, and food and cooking supplies for the newest arrivals. In the Marjayoun camp alone, there are only 2 tanks to hold about 1,000 liters of water. To provide for the 1,000 residents in the tent city, an estimated 11 tanks of 10,000 liters each are needed, according to AVSI Program Manager Chiara Nava. Otherwise, besides the obvious problem of dehydration, there is also a great risk of spreading cholera or other water-born diseases.
So far, since the situation heightened to the level of crisis, AVSI has reached 17,500 people in Lebanon and Jordan with basic emergency items, 1,063 people have received regular food and medicinal supplies, 600 students have been helped to integrate into the stability of a school environment thanks to remedial classes and mentoring, and 1,250 children have benefitted from group games and psychosocial activities in addition to personal follow-up to answer particular needs or dramatic situations. Close collaboration with UNHCR and the Ministry of Education ensure that vulnerable communities have sustainable links to systems and services.
AVSI’s work has been made possible through private donations from around the world, which help to attract and leverage grants from institutions such as European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Unit (ECHO) and the UN agency for children, UNICEF. With these resources, AVSI is able to quickly identify families who have found their way into villages and regions close to the border and make sure that no mother or child is left without a mattress, blankets, hygiene and kitchen supplies to stay healthy.
Just $10 can provide 2,000 liters of clean water, or an hour of lessons to help a child catch up at a new school.
A $50 contribution is enough to deliver food kits of 2 kg each of rice, beans and sugar and 2 liters of oil for 5 families.
Donate now, using the PayPal donate button to your left, or send a check to AVSI-USA, 529 14th St. NW, Suite 994, Washington DC 20045, specifying “Syria” as reason for donation.