Advocacy Update: Crisis in Syria
I think on the hearts of everyone has been the Syrian refugee crisis, brought to light by the heartbreaking photo of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who died in the sea while trying to escape the tragic situation in Syria with his family. Imagine what the people in Syria are going through so that when they weigh every possibility for their family, the best option is to try to make the impossibly long and dangerous journey to Europe. In Syria, the continuous war means that family members are being killed and schools, hospitals, and homes are bombed.
We know that Women of Vision see tragedy like this and want to know, ‘What can I do?’
We want to say thank you to everyone who has contacted your members of Congress about Syria. Your actions have helped send a clear message – you have support to take action to help the people of Syria. We now need you to contact President Obama.
The conflict in Syria, which is entering its fifth year, has become a protracted civil war with an enormous humanitarian cost.
We face the worst refugee crisis since World War II. The tragic photo of the three-year-old boy, Aylan Kurdi, who washed up on the shore of Turkey is a startling reminder of the tremendously difficult decisions refugees make when they seek safety for their families. In desperation, tens of thousands risk death to flee to safety in Europe. And, of the 10 million Syrians driven from their homes, 50 percent are children.
The unprecedented scale of humanitarian need reflects what these refugees have lost—their families, their homes, their schools, and their communities. Now, half of the Syrian population has fled their homes because of violence, and many refugees need basic items such as food, clean water, medical supplies and warm clothing and blankets to prepare for the coming winter months.
Since the beginning of the refugee crisis in Syria, World Vision has given lifesaving humanitarian aid to nearly 1.8 million children and adults in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. In Europe, we are providing humanitarian assistance to refugees in Serbia. And the U.S. government just made an additional pledge of $419 million to help those affected by the conflict in Syria.
But what actually needs to change for this conflict to end?
First of all, most Syrians flee their country because of horrific bombing attacks on their schools, markets, and hospitals. Experts estimate between 220,000-310,00 Syrians have been killed; 10,000 of those killed were children.
There are proposals in the United Nations right now that the U.S. can support that would help protect civilians in Syria. One such proposal would establish a mechanism to track and publicly expose attacks against civilians.
The international community needs to address the immediate symptoms of the crisis and, most importantly, root causes of the conflict. For too long, the U.S. has not made the conflict in Syria a top diplomatic priority. They need to hear from YOU in order to make this a priority.
The suffering must end. Please stand with Syrians and the future of their country.
YOUR voice is critical in urging the U.S. to take more of a leadership role in protecting civilians inside Syria.
Ask President Obama to make the conflict in Syria a top diplomatic priority. Next week’s United Nations General Assembly provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. to support protection of Syrian civilians. The suffering must end.
We also want to say thank you to everyone who has been speaking out for the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015 and ILAB (to fight child labor). Your continued meetings, phone calls, and emails have been drawing attention to these issues. We will let you know when the Reach Act is introduced in the House and as soon as we have more information on ILAB funding. To find information on these issues to share, visit our Advocacy Tools page and sign up for Beyond 5 to receive the most immediate updates.advocacy update