Since 2012, Diaconia-CRD has been providing material relief to Syrian refugees in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. In that time, Diaconia – CRD has provided 45 solid-walled housing units, 18,000 pairs of children’s clothing, 6,300 pairs of children’s winter shoes, and 7,300 articles of children’s winter clothing. In 2013, Diaconia-CRD, along with Jordanian and international partners, worked to establish the Peace Oasis Center for youth between the ages of 14 and 20. In 2015, we provided 5,100 hygiene packages, which were distributed to 25,000 people, predominantly women.
March 15th, 2015, marked the fourth year of the Syrian conflict. Leaders from the organizations ADRA, People in Need, Diaconia – CRD, Catholic Charities, and Doctors without Borders met to discuss the current needs on the ground.
In Syria, the situation necessitates that the global community focus on supporting internally-displaced people in the hopes of mitigating the large waves of refugees fleeing into neighboring countries. The nations of Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan are faltering under extreme social, political, and economic pressures due to the vast numbers of refugees fleeing across their borders. In Iraq, long-term material support and aid are needed for those escaping the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS).
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 3.8 million people have fled from Syria into surrounding nations: 1.6 million people have fled to Turkey, 1.2 million to Lebanon, and 600,000 to Jordan. The destabilizing effects of ISIS and the on-going Syrian Civil War have led to over 2.7 million internally-displaced people in Iraq and 7.6 million in Syria.
More than half of the Syrian population, including 5 million children, need humanitarian aid, as the prior health care system has completely collapsed. In Lebanon, nearly every fourth person is a Syrian refugee. The current Syrian conflict has arrested the development of Syria by an estimated 20 years.
“In Jordan there are currently over 2 million Palestinian refugees, with another estimated 800,000 people coming from Syria and Iraq. This means that nearly 40% of the Jordanian population are people who are not native-born Jordanians,” commented Jan Dus, Director of Diaconia ECCB – Center of Relief and Development.
Around 3 million Syrian children are unable to attend school. Educational facilities have been damaged or destroyed, or are used as “safe-houses” for refugees. In Jordan a half a million children have no access to education.
In response, representatives from the five Czech humanitarian organizations made this joint statement: “Due to the desperate humanitarian situation in the Middle East, we call on the Czech Republic, one of the 40 richest countries in the world, to actively accept a greater number of vulnerable refugees fleeing conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. We make this statement and request as a sign of solidarity from a country that during its own history was responsible for sending hundreds of thousands of its own refugees to surrounding nations.”