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Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Noor is fourteen years old and lives together with four families in temporary accommodation in the town hall in Al Toura, close to the Syrian border. “I just want to go home, to be in my house, with my friends,” Noor says. The young Syrian woman dreams of becoming a journalist. Photo: ACT/Magnus Aronson

September 9, 2015

By Simon Chambers

Throughout its history, PWRDF has been a vehicle by which Canadian Anglicans have responded to the needs of refugees.  As far back as 1959, PWRF (as it was then known) was responding to the needs of refugees in India.

Today, the Syrian refugee crisis is making headlines with heart-rending images and stories that are bringing the attention of the world back to this conflict and its effect on the millions of Syrians and Iraqis who have been forced to flee their homes.

PWRDF has been providing relief to Syrian refugees for years through this crisis, as well as to refugees in many other countries including India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Egypt and more.

We have heard from Anglicans across the country who want to do more to address the needs of Syrian refugees.  Here are the ways PWRDF continues to support Syrian refugees, and how you can be involved:

Adele and +Fred’s Call to Action — Last week, Archbishop Fred Hiltz and PWRDF Executive Director Adele Finney released a statement about the Syrian refugee situation.  You can read it here: http://pwrdf.org/2015/call-to-prayer-and-action/

Ride for Refuge —  On October 3, PWRDF teams across Canada will ride to raise funds for our programme partner, Refuge Egypt.  In the last few years, the Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees who were the bulk of Cairo’s refugee population have been joined by tens of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the violence in their home. Earlier this year PWRDF announced a grant of $39,352  to Refuge Egypt – an increase of $21,000 over our previous grant, in order to provide food baskets to the families of Syrian refugees who are flooding into the city along with the already existing African refugee population. Since the war in Syria began, over 160,000 Syrians have fled to Cairo, and this huge influx of refugees has strained the capacity of Refuge Egypt’s clinics. PWRDF’s additional grant will help to provide thousands of children and their families with food to help keep them healthy and strong.

Please ride or walk with us, or sponsor a team or rider. https://rideforrefuge.org/charity/pwrdf

ACT Alliance Emergency Appeal – PWRDF has been responding through the ACT Alliance to the needs of Syrian refugees and displaced people in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan since 2012.  ACT has provided food, water, hygiene kits, health care, shelter, education, psychosocial support and more to tens of thousands of displaced Syrians over this time.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank — PWRDF is currently supporting food aid to Syrian refugees in southern Lebanon and Beirut, as well as internally displaced people within Syria through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  Families are provided with food vouchers for a year, as well as additional nutritional training for mothers of children under three to help prevent childhood illnesses ensure healthy growth of their children.  You can designate an online donation for “Syria Response” here

Refugee Sponsorship — If your parish is interested in sponsoring a refugee family, contact your diocese to find out if they are a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, or contact a neighbouring diocese that holds an Agreement to sponsor refugees for assistance.  For general information on refugee sponsorship visit the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program website at www.rstp.ca.

ACC Election Resource – As Canada is in the midst of an election campaign, the refugee issue has become even more of a political one.  The Anglican Church of Canada recently released an election resource, which includes information about the issue of refugees and questions you can ask candidates in your riding from all parties about their stand on refugee issues. http://www.anglican.ca/publicwitness/election2015/resource/

Stay Informed – Continue to visit the PWRDF website for more stories as they’re available detailing our response to the needs of Syrian and other refugees.  The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) regularly posts information, articles and more about refugee issues.

Donate — You can donate to PWRDF’s ongoing Syrian refugee relief efforts:

On-line

You can designate your online donation for “Syria Response”.

 By Phone

For credit card donations contact:
Jennifer Brown
416-924-9192 ext. 355; 1-866-308-7973 FREE
Please do not send your credit card number by email or fax.

 By Mail

Please make cheques payable to “PWRDF”, mark them for “Syria Response” and send them to:
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
The Anglican Church of Canada
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, Ontario  M4Y 3G2

 PWRDF Donations Contact:

Jennifer Brown
416-924-9192 ext. 355; 1-866-308-7973 FREE

 PWRDF Humanitarian Response Coordinator

Naba Gurung
416-924-9199 ext. 321; 1-866-308-7973 FREE

Noor is fourteen years old and lives together with four families in temporary accommodation in the town hall in Al Toura, close to the Syrian border. "€œI just want to go home, to be in my house, with my friends," Noor says. The young Syrian woman dreams of becoming a journalist. Photo: ACT/Magnus Aronson
Noor is fourteen years old and lives together with four families in temporary accommodation in the town hall in Al Toura, close to the Syrian border. “I just want to go home, to be in my house, with my friends,” Noor says. The young Syrian woman dreams of becoming a journalist. Photo: ACT/Magnus Aronson