We at ODW are overwhelmed with sadness by the suffering in Syria and Iraq and the surrounding region. Tragically over 240,000 people have died since the start of the Syrian crisis, and over 13.5 million people are in need of emergency humanitarian aid. We know it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale and severity of this, but we also know that people are capable of making an amazing impact in the face of human suffering.
We initially launched a relief effort for Syria to address the growing refugee crisis; however, in response to the worsening conditions in Iraq due to the insurgency of the terrorist organization know as the Islamic State (IS), we have expanded our efforts to provide aid in both nations and the surrounding region. While the two crises have different roots, they are both displacing millions from their homes and impacting women and children to a higher degree. The rise of IS along the Iraq/Syria border is causing an increased level of insecurity for families throughout the region.
Efforts to protect and aid this vulnerable population are underway, but it is a big task with structural difficulties due to the ongoing conflict. As winter comes upon us, the conditions of refugee settlements are only worsening. Their resources are currently at an all time low and the need for food, clothes, blankets, heaters, and fuel is increasing as the climate drops. The displaced families are at risk of malnutrition and need shelter from the elements. There is also a growing need for proper healthcare to prevent and treat the spread of infectious diseases.
The crisis is complex and requires a multifaceted response focused on food, education, medical care, and shelter for those displaced. We will be coming alongside NGOs like World Vision and others that are on the ground addressing the basic needs of those impacted. We are setting our largest goal ever of $500,000 to adequately address the severity and scale of these crises. Join us with your generosity as we stand with families in Syria and Iraq during this tragic humanitarian crisis.
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