A Global Response To The Refugees Fleeing Syria
(3BL Media/Justmeans) â A humanitarian emergency is happening across Europe, since the start of 2015. Over 320,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean, undertaking treacherous journeys from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and other countries torn apart by war, persecution and a horrifying list of human miseries. Thousands of families are fleeing for their lives, risking the dangerous sea and land crossings. Many have no choice but to board over-crowded, flimsy boats to give their children a chance of survival and safety. For some, this desperate journey will be their last.Â Sadly almost 3,000 people have drowned trying to reach safety in Europe.Â The crossing is perilous, yet for many families, who have lived through years of trauma and face ongoing conflict, fleeing their homes and making this journey is the only choice they feel they have.
The refugee crisis is heart-breaking and strikes at the very fabric of our global community. We committed early on to support our humanitarian partners in transporting life-saving supplies to those people and communities in crisis,â said Eduardo Martinez, President, The UPS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of UPSÂ®Â (NYSE: UPS). Taking action the Foundation is working with theÂ United Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesÂ (UNHCR) and theÂ World Food ProgrammeÂ (WFP) to provide critical relief shipments to thousands of refugees in Greece and along the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia border.
Air shipments of 163 metric tons of relief supplies, including 86 tons of high-energy biscuits, 30,000 blankets, 25,000 sleeping mats and 1,000 solar lanterns arrived on Sept. 5. The flights were funded by The UPS Foundation as part of its UPS Humanitarian Relief and Resilience program. This latest emergency relief shipment is part of The UPS Foundationâs long-standing relationship with the UNHCR, WFP, other UN agencies and non-governmental organisations. UPS serves as UNHCRâs emergency standby partner to transport critical supplies into the hands of refugees around the world.
In addition to the UNHCR relief shipments, the Foundation is helping the Salvation Army to support Syrian refugees arriving in Rome, with food, housing and legal advice. The UPS Foundation has been supporting relief efforts for Syrian-Iraqi refugees for the past three years from transporting personal protective equipment and medical uniforms to Turkey forÂ Syria Relief & DevelopmentÂ and providing in-kind and volunteer support forÂ MedshareÂ to get medical supplies to refugees; to partnering withÂ UNICEFÂ for numerous relief initiatives including: packing and transporting via 17 ocean containers 23,400 winter clothing kits for Syrian children in Irbil, Iraq; to arranging charter flights to Irbil with items such as food, tents, mats, water sanitation and health kits for more than 40,000 refugees in the Kurdistan region; and many other crucial life-saving supplies.
This refugee crisis is a universal problem. The world needs to act to help solve this dramatic situation. The flow of people will not stop until the war in Syria has been brought to an end and each day new countries are being affected, the latest being Croatia, where around 100 refugees were seen walking into the country on 16 September.
Photo Credit: Freedom House/Syria Freedom on Flickr