During the past two years, violent conflict in Syria has forced more than 400,000 refugees across the border into Jordan. Daryl Byler, MCC representative who lives in Amman, Jordan, explains why Jordan keeps its borders open even as the country struggles to meet basic needs of its Syrian “guests” and assimilate them into its schools, communities and economy. Nongovernmental organizations, including MCC, assist Jordan with meeting Biblical and cultural mandates to show hospitality to strangers.
- Supported 460 families with food, medical, and shelter needs for 2 months in Aleppo. This distribution will continue for 600 families for an additional 3 months from March – May 2013.
- Supporting 5,000 families with food assistance for 5 months in the Qalamoun region.
- Supported 391 families with cash support for an average of 4 months, and provided monthly food baskets to 555 families in Damascus, Homs and surrounding areas.
- Providing locally purchased winter clothing to 85 families in and around Homs.
- Distributing blankets (some locally purchased, some shipped from Canada) to 7,808 families in and around Homs, with 1,200 of these receiving hygiene kits, and 4,320 receiving infant kits. An additional 500 families will receive blankets, and 1,000 families will receive emergency lights for use during power outages.
- An additional shipment sent at the end of February 2013 including 2713 comforters, 1,499 relief kits, 10,879 school kits, 6885 hygiene kits, 1310 infant care kits, 6 bales of fabric for distribution to displaced Syrian families.
- Provided assistance for food, rent, and medicine to 75 families in Damascus.
- Provided 50 families with medication in Damascus for 6 months.
- 40 Syrians participated in 4-day trainings on humanitarian minimum standards.
- 20 Syrian church leaders to participate in 4-day Sphere training.
- 48 young Syrians participated in training to better identify and address trauma cases in their response work.
- 6 young Syrian peace activists to attend Summer Peacebuilding Institute at EMU in May 2013.
- Shipment and distribution of 4,141 relief kits, 11,310 hygiene kits, 19,198 blankets, 17,831 school kits, 240 infant care kits, and 30 teacher kits. To date, 2,984 relief kits, 8,160 hygiene kits, 17,589 blankets, 5,734 school kits have been distributed and 243 families have benefited from milk powder and diapers.
- Peacebuilding training with 75 Muslim and Christian young adults and community leaders in 3 communities with host families and displaced people.
- Distributed 989 comforters, 293 relief kits and 696 school kits to 240 Syrian families at the Caritas center in Husun.
- 3,000 additional school kits and 14 teacher kits to be distributed at the new refugee camp near al Zarqua in the near future.
- 2,750 pairs of winter shoes distributed to children at the Zaatari camp on Feb.5, 2013.
- Plans for informal education support for 1000 children, youth, and adults from refugee families in Amman.
- An additional shipment of 26,148 school kits sent at the end of February 2013 to assist vulnerable Jordanians and refugee populations in Jordan including Iraqis, Somalis, Sudanese, and Syrians.
- Distributed 8,485 blankets, 2,131 relief kits, 14,917 hygiene kits, 2,488 infant care kits, 9,649 school kits, and clothing to around 3500 Syrian refugee families.
- Additional shipments in February including 1376 comforters, 1000 cartons of dried soup mix, 3615 infant care kits, 2374 Comforters/Blankets, 3740 school kits, 114 foam mattresses, 5 bales children’s clothing, 22 bales of adult sweaters.
- Promoted sport tournaments, drama and other bridge-building activities for 350 children, youth and adults in high tension regions.
- Supported a 3-day forum for dialogue that led to the signing of a Code of Conduct for nonviolence among youth representatives of all Lebanese political parties.
- Supported 73 refugee children (aged 4-6) with kindergarten staffing
- 250 children (aged 11-15) in East Sidon have access to psychosocial support.
- Supported Sphere training for 70 NGO staff throughout southern Lebanon.
- Planning Easter and summer camps for 100 refugee children per camp, and social events for their families.
- Providing health awareness training to 50 Syrian refugee women.
- Supporting 270 elderly and children within refugee and displaced families with health education, medical support and milk.
- Supported Cycling for Peace, a 170-km ride to raise awareness for non-violent solutions to the conflict; a regional conference: Building peace and trust: maintaining Christian-Muslim coexistence;and peacebuilding and conflict transformation trainings for 137 youth leaders from different backgrounds and political affiliations.
- Responded in Southern Lebanon through trainings for agencies, including a coalition of 56 agencies which now has a strategic plan for coordinating their work and an emergency/contingency plan to help them respond better to increasing tensions.
(Updated March 4 , 2013)
Mennonite Central Committee is appealing for donations to continue its humanitarian assistance and grassroots peacebuilding in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
MCC and partners help Syrians seeking places to live within their own country as well as those who have fled elsewhere.
MCC efforts to ease the suffering of displaced families in eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue with distribution of food and household items and emergency access to health care for about 1,350 people. In this audio report, MCC U.S. Program Director Ruth Keidel Clemens talks with the Reverend Pierre Marini Bodho, leader of longtime partner organization the Church of Christ in Congo, about the situation.
In this reflection, J. Daryl Byler, an MCC representative in the Middle East, tells of the plight of Syrian refugees flowing into Jordan, mentions earlier refugee movements into Jordan, and highlights the exemplary hospitality he witnesses as the refugees arrive.
MCC encourages continued giving of dollars and relief kits in its response to the crisis in Syria and neighboring countries.
MCC and partners respond as swelling numbers of Syrians fleeing violence expand the need for aid in Jordan.
With MCC’s support, CODESO, a Brethren in Christ partner, is establishing grain banks, financing microloans and offering agricultural training to help Hondurans.
MCC is requesting donations of relief kits to replenish supplies sent to the Middle East.