“We want to go back to Syria when the war is over.”
This desire is echoed by millions of refugees who have fled their homes and their country in the wake of escalating violence within Syria. But as international leaders discuss how to respond to suspected chemical weapons attacks, refugees see the possibility of returning home diminish.
Manha* and her family came to Lebanon 8 months ago, fleeing the ongoing civil war. Living as refugees in Lebanon they face daily struggles to meet their basic needs. They have no regular source of income to cover the high cost of rent, electricity, and food in Lebanon. Her husband has a disability that prevents him from working, so her sons, ages 18 and 14, have been working to support the family.
“My 14-year-old son was working at a food shop but he was fired this morning,” explains Manha. “We asked for a small increase in his pay and they fired him.”
“We have started providing some of the most vulnerable families, like Manha’s, with vouchers that allows them to purchase food and other supplies from a local store.”
For refugee families like Mahna’s, jobs are scarce and prices for rent have sky-rocketed due to the massive influx of displaced people into towns and cities across the country. Manha and her family of 9 live in a house with two rooms, a tiny kitchen and bathroom in a slum community that sprang up on the outskirts of a camp that was originally started for Palestinian refugees back in the early 1980s. Like most families in this community, they spend a significant percentage of their meager income on rent, with little left for food. For this reason World Renew has been responding with food assistance for some of the most vulnerable refugee families in Lebanon and Jordan and for displaced families inside Syria.
“In Lebanon, food is available in local stores, but refugees don’t have a regular source of income to purchase what they need,” states Ken Little, Senior Project Manager for World Renew. “We have started providing some of the most vulnerable families, like Manha’s, with vouchers that allows them to purchase food and other supplies from a local store.”
Other families receive food rations, depending on their needs and the accessibility of food in their area, and others have received emergency supplies like cooking materials, soap and blankets.
As families continue to flee their homes and as the civil war continues, World Renew and its local partners are seeking ways to extend support to these new arrivals. Through your prayers and support, and by building alliances with other international organizations, World Renew hopes to be able to continue to provide families with basic food assistance as they struggle through this difficult period of displacement, waiting for the day they can go home.
“We feel accepted here,” explains Manha, “but we want to go back to Syria when the war is over.”
Please consider supporting World Renew’s efforts to provide much-needed food assistance to families displaced by this horrific conflict.
You can also call your gift in by phone or send your gifts marked “Syria Conflict 2012” to:
World Renew US
1700 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
World Renew Canada
P.O. Box 5070 STN LCD
Burlington, Ontario, L7R 3Y8
*Name changed for protection