Aise is 7 years-old. Her parents struggled for years during the civil war in Syria. All of her family members have to work to cover the rent, and other life expenses. Food packages from UMCOR are helping to bring relief to uprooted families. Photo: IBC
By David Tereshchuk*
UMCOR, through its partners, is extending assistance to those displaced within Syria and those who have fled to neighboring countries and beyond.
In a district north of Damascus, the Syrian capital, UMCOR is working with a trusted regional partner, International Blue Crescent (IBC), to supply some 1,000 displaced families with urgently needed food packages.
“Many of these internally displaced persons [IDPs] have been made homeless multiple times, but due to repeated shifts in the fighting, they often are much more difficult to reach and support,” noted Laurie Felder, executive secretary for UMCOR International Disaster Response.
In March, the Syrian conflict marked its fifth anniversary. A ceasefire brokered earlier this year and that went into effect on February 27 continues to hold, allowing space for increased humanitarian assistance. But, as the United Nations noted, “intermittent fighting, shifting conflict lines and persisting deprivation have continued to displace people across the country.”
UMCOR is partnering with the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) to help uprooted Syrians on the outskirts of Damascus find housing and pay the rent. Because of the conflict, housing is scarce and livelihoods remain in upheaval. This partnership offers protection to a vulnerable population, while also respecting and acknowledging their human dignity.