In the Spring of 2011 a popular uprising and government crackdown in Syria has forced large numbers of the people from their homes and many have fled into neighboring countries. It is estimated that there are about 300,000 refugees on the Syrian/Jordanian border, 55,000 on the Lebanese/Syrian border, and over 90,000 on the Turkish/Syrian border. But these numbers are changing on a daily basis and we are having a hard time keeping track of them, as are other NGO’s in the region.
The first wave of people that started coming in had family, friends and relatives that they were able to stay with and they have already been helped and have adjusted to their new life. But as more and more are coming in due to the violence in Syria the new arrivals are finding it hard and they are alone. The neighboring countries have been stretched to their limits in what they can do for them. In Jordan you need to remember we have refugees from Iraq, Palestine, Libya, and now Syria. There is only so much a country can take in and still also be helping its own people. Jordan, is a poor country to begin with – with not much in exports- this is an overload on the country and its people who are trying to help.
Host communities and long term support will be very hard to sustain. This is going to be a long endeavor. Your assistance is urgently needed, especially with the holy month of Ramadan coming up for our Muslim brothers and sisters. We need to helped these displaced citizens, with food, housing and health care.
We here at SCM (Salaam Cultural Museum), a 501c3 non profit, have set up a formula to get the money to a church in Irbid, in the north of Jordan. The priest of that church will go to the refugee center and see what the people are most in need of, then he will purchase the goods and take them back to the families. The money we raise will go to all communities, just because we are using a priest does not mean that we will only be helping Christians – we just find that this is the easiest and most secure way of doing it. The priests are free to go in and out of the refugee area without any problems, while the Imams are being given more trouble and are searched more. 100% of the money that you are giving will go to help the needy – we do not keep any administrative fee. We have done this work before during the first Gulf War and the second Gulf War and also during the fight between Israel and Lebanon.
While the political realities in both countries make it difficult for the refugee response to run smoothly or rapidly, those same realities require that all actors better address the refugee situation in order to pre-empt a humanitarian crisis and minimize internal and regional tensions. Lebanon and Jordan have the experience and expertise necessary for a comprehensive, effective response to the Syrian refugees crossing their borders. But their ability to carry it out will depend on both support from the international community, and a willingness domestically to make the well-being of refugees and local communities the highest priority. We need everyone’s help in this regard.
All names of donors are kept confidential and we do not sell our lists. You can make your donation thru PayPal or by sending us a check to Salaam Cultural Museum at 3806 Whitman Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103.