This article was originally posted on the Baptist World Alliance website, on August 27, 2013. American Baptist Churches USA is s member organization of the Baptist World Alliance.
The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) has granted an additional sum of US$20,000 for Syrian relief, following on other grants in 2012 and earlier this year.
The funds will be used specifically for the humanitarian crisis in Homs, one of the hardest hit areas in the ongoing Syrian civil war and an epicenter of the revolutionary movement in the Middle Eastern country. Homs has seen some of the largest casualties and destruction since protests began in Syria in March 2011.
A goal of the project is to provide monthly food and medical support to 150 Syrian families over a four-month period that will enable the families affected by the crisis to meet basic human needs and cope with displacement, violence and the deteriorating economic conditions.
The BWA partner in the relief effort reported that “the humanitarian situation has continuously deteriorated. The civilian population is suffering from the impact of armed violence, human rights violations and increasing lack of access to food, water and medical assistance.”
The group stated that “mass displacement continues across Syria” and cited a United Nations report asserting that by the end of 2013, “half the population of Syria will be in need of aid.” It is estimated that by the end of this year, some 3.45 million Syrians will be refugees in other countries and another 6.8 million displaced inside Syria.
“Fear and lack of security is dominating in daily life. Kidnapping, car bombs, suicide bombs, shelling and bombardment have had terrible psychological, economic and social implications,” the BWA partner declared. There has been “significant damage to structures and infrastructure.”
In a resolution passed by the BWA General Council in July of this year, the BWA called on governments to “support the efforts of those who are working toward a negotiated peace [in Syria] and provide essential humanitarian resources to assist refugees in this situation of conflict.”
A second resolution passed by the General Council encouraged Baptists “to act as advocates for displaced persons and to develop plans to respond with compassion and hospitality to the needs of displaced persons.”
Donations to the BWA Syrian relief may be made online at www.bwanet.org/give, or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
c/o Baptist World Alliance
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046