Syrian Refugee Crisis

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Humanity drowns on the shores of Europe.

A complex and catastrophic refugee crisis is unfolding across the Mediterranean, fuelled by ongoing conflict and instability in the Middle East and North Africa. Those that have fled war-torn Syria to other countries in the region alone number four million.

With very few legal and safe routes overland, many thousands of refugees are embarking on perilous sea journeys. Often making the trip toward Europe on flimsy and crowded dinghies, they are risking – and losing – their lives in the attempt.

At least 3,000 people are thought to have died at sea so far this year. It is not known how many others may be planning the dangerous voyage. Increasingly, women and children are among those endangered in what has become the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

In many places, local services are straining to meet the needs of the vulnerable people arriving. For example, on the Greek island of Lesvos – the current focus of Islamic Relief’s emergency response to the crisis – refugees are sheltered in hastily established transit camps, run by local volunteers. Those that cannot be accommodated in the swelling camps sleep on the streets. All struggle to access basic services and lack even basic yet essential items such as blankets and soap.

As the crisis grows and deepens, Islamic Relief continues to support refugees in countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey and is also helping vulnerable people in European countries.

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How Islamic Relief is helping

Our teams have been distributing clothing and meals to thousands of families stranded on the shores. Efforts are being upscaled to ensure refugees receive proper accommodation, hygiene kits, and other basic necessities.

Islamic Relief is assisting refugees by providing free vouchers, so families can receive clothes, shoes, and other necessities from our charity shops.

Islamic Relief staff have arrived in the Greek island of Lesvos, and have begun preparations for delivering urgent aid to stranded families. Food aid, shelter, cultural mediation and NFI’s are the focus of the intervention.

Islamic Relief donors are providing:

  • Food parcels: rice, sugar, oil, pasta, powdered milk, beans, cheese, salt, tomato paste, chicken stock
  • Hygiene products: shampoo, soap, detergent, facial tissues, toothpaste
  • Cooking fuel
  • Items, such as diapers, for babies
  • Mattresses, blankets and pillows
  • Housing rent assistance
  • Medicines and hospitalization, including urgent medical treatments, such as kidney dialysis, and vital surgeries
  • Special food packages were distributed during the Ramadan and Udhiyah/Qurbani seasons 2011-2014
  • A separate Winterization effort was also been implemented to provide emergency supplies, including blankets and carpets, for two months to some 940 families.

Islamic Relief donors are providing:

  • Food parcels: rice, sugar, lentils, peas, tomato sauce, noodles, pasta, beans, oil, halawa, salt, water, bread, halal luncheon meats, tea
  • Hygiene products: shampoo, soap, detergent, facial tissues, toothpaste
  • Items, such as diapers, for babies
  • Clothes
  • Mattresses and blankets
  • Kitchen sets
  • Heaters and candles
  • Mosquito repellants
  • A separate Winterization effort was also been implemented to provide items including food, blankets, heaters, fuel, mattresses, rugs and baby kits to refugee families to protect against the cold.
  • Special food packages were distributed during the Ramadan and Udhiyah/Qurbani seasons 2011-2014