Today the United Nations and the governments of the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Germany, and Norway are hosting a conference to raise awareness and funds for Syrians in need of humanitarian aid.
The conflict in Syria has driven more than 4 million people out of the country and left more than 13 million people in need of assistance.
The World Food Programme has shared a moving portrait of some of these people.
– They are mothers like Inas, whose husband disappeared and whose house was destroyed by fighting. She and her daughters had to flee the country.
– They are men like Jamal, who lives in a refugee camp in Jordan and is struggling to continue his work as a carpenter because he doesn’t have his tools with him.
– And they are children like Nasser who lives in a refugee camp in Lebanon and yearns to go to school, but spends his days finding ways to earn money to help feed his family.
UN agencies and other humanitarian groups are on the ground providing life-saving aid, such as food, water, shelter, and medicine to Syrians in need, but there work is extremely under-funded. The 2015 UN-coordinated appeals for the Syria crisis were only around 50% funded.
The international community needs to step up its collective efforts to respond to the humanitarian crisis.
Each of us can play a role in helping make this happen. Here are two key ways:
1. Raise your voice and let world leaders know that you stand with Syrians in need. UN and other humanitarian leaders recently released an appeal calling for an end to the suffering and for specific actions so humanitarian assistance reaches all those in need. Read the appeal, and add your voice by sharing it with your networks. You can use the hashtag #SupportingSyrians.
2. Donate to the UN’s Syria Humanitarian Fund. This fund, managed by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, will help UN agencies and humanitarian groups provide support and aid to vulnerable people where it is needed most.