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ShelterBox launches £2 million appeal to help Syrian refugees
4:49pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
ShelterBox has unveiled its most ambitious appeal yet, asking for £2 million to help Syrian refugees.
The United Nations has confirmed that more than two million Syrians have now fled their homeland. Already hard at work in and around Syria, disaster relief charity ShelterBox is gearing up to help as many refugees as possible.
A charity spokesperson said: “The refugees and the rhetoric keep on coming. While the world talks of atrocities and interventions, diplomacy and warfare, the lines of families fleeing conflict are still growing. It took two years for the exodus from Syria to reach one million. It took only the last six months to pass the two million threshold.
Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, this week branded it “the biggest refugee crisis of all time”. In addition to the two million who have fled, an estimated four million people remain dispersed or homeless within Syria, separated from their livelihoods and possessions.
ShelterBox is planning one of the biggest disaster responses in its history. The call is going out that, if supporters worldwide will back it with an extra £2 million, it will aim to reach a further 5,000 families over the coming months.
Throughout 2012 and 2013 ShelterBox has already been providing aid in Iraq, Kurdistan and Jordan. It was the first aid charity sanctioned by the Lebanese government to distribute shelter in Lebanon, and it has created effective partnerships to deliver truckloads of aid into Syria. So far ShelterBox has been able to help some 4,500 families. Response teams and partner organisations are poised to deploy aid on several fronts.
ShelterBox’s chief operating officer John Leach said: “We have already helped thousands of refugee families, but with an extra push we can help thousands more. The target of £2 million is immensely challenging, but so too is the extent of this refugee crisis.”
A ShelterBox spokesperson said: “Now, more than ever before, we need the compassion and generosity of our supporters to back our work in the field. Let’s show these amilies that the world has not abandoned them.”
With colder weather just around the corner, conditions for refugees are only going to worsen as temperatures in the region fall below freezing.
The charity’s Syria Refugee Appeal will be co-ordinated from Helston. Posters and other specially-designed resources will be available via a distinctive website area, and an army of volunteers and supporters will be mobilised to help reach the £2 million goal.
n To donate, go to www.shelterbox.org/syria or phone 0300 0300 500.
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