December 18, 2014
By Simon Chambers
PWRDF has written to the Canadian government out of a growing concern over the plight of Syrian refugees. The conflict in Syria, which began in 2011, continues, and has forced over 15 million people to flee their homes.
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (Anglican Church of Canada) supports a network of dioceses across Canada who hold Sponsorship Agreements with the Government of Canada to sponsor refugees to begin new lives in Canada, offering them protection from violence, persecution and war. We are deeply concerned about the plight of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), after four years of brutal civil war more than 15 million persons are now displaced, including over 3 million people who have fled to neighbouring countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. “Syria’s war is still escalating and the humanitarian situation is becoming protracted. Refugees and internally displaced people have exhausted their savings and resources, and host countries are at breaking point,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
As Christians, we believe in justice and peace among all people, and respect for the dignity of every human being. The private sponsorship community is responding to the need for resettlement, but capacity is limited. We ask that the Government of Canada make a new commitment to resettle Syrian refugees under the Government Assisted Refugee Program based on need and following the criteria outlined by the UNHCR, which includes survivors of torture, refugees with serious medical conditions or women left alone with several children to care for and without family support. We further ask that no person in need of protection be excluded because of their ethnic or religious affiliation.