In Response to a Global Crisis: Syria
Given the extreme refugee crisis and unprecedented devastation in Aleppo, we know many are seeking ways to help. Seattle Foundation and Seattle International Foundation have curated a list of five, high-impact international NGOs working to address the critical needs of Syrians affected by the current crisis.
December 22, 2016
Over the past five years, nearly half a million lives have been claimed by Syria’s civil war. More than 4.8 million people have been forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries and an estimated 6.5 million are internally displaced. The effects of the ongoing crisis have ravaged a nation and overwhelmed a region; millions of innocent civilians lack the most basic necessities and face grave risks, while host countries strain to meet the growing, desperate needs of millions of refugees.
Given the extreme refugee crisis and unprecedented devastation in Aleppo, we know many are seeking ways to help.
Seattle Foundation and Seattle International Foundation work hand in hand to assist philanthropists in responding effectively to natural disasters and global crises. We utilize a disaster response framework to guide our involvement and inform how we tailor our response. We think about disaster response in four phases from 1) immediate triage, to 2) intermediate stabilization and recovery, to 3) long-term rebuilding, and finally 4) preparedness and mitigation. Syria now finds itself in the triage phase, which requires immediate response focused on the following priorities: coordination, safety, food, temporary shelter, clean water, and emergency medical attention.
As violent clashes continue in Syria, basic safety is the most urgent priority for civilians, followed by access to healthcare, food, and water and sanitation.
According to the Assessment Capacities Project, 70 percent of the Syrian population currently lacks regular access to clean drinking water and 95 percent lack access to adequate healthcare. Global Washington’s latest issue brief, “A Global Crisis: Aleppo, The Latest Mass Migration” provides a detailed and thoughtful analysis of the challenges developing in Syria.
Seattle Foundation and Seattle International Foundation have curated a list of five, high-impact international NGOs working to address the critical needs of Syrians affected by the current crisis. These organizations have a proven track record working with local communities in the region, and have been vetted by one of our partners Global Washington. If you are interested in supporting any or all of the international NGOs below, please contact your Philanthropic Advisor or recommend a grant from your Seattle Foundation fund.
AmeriCares: AmeriCares has been supporting health care services for Syrian refugees who have fled to neighboring countries since 2012, as well as delivering medical supplies such as medications, intravenous fluids, and nerve gas antidote to partners and hospitals inside Syria. AmeriCares is also addressing the medical needs of refugees, focusing on those traveling through Greece and those requiring medical attention upon arrival to Greece by boat.
Medical Teams International: MTI is providing direct medical services to Syrian refugees in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Their goal is to decrease illness and reduce mortality, with a particular focus on women and children. MTI is also providing mobile medical units to assist refugees, monitoring communities to prevent outbreaks of cholera, acute watery diarrhea, tuberculosis and measles, and facilitating health education programs to prevent and reduce the severity of disease for all refugees.
Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps has been working to bring emergency relief to millions of people suffering inside Syria and those seeking safety in neighboring countries. Their work is currently helping nearly 4 million people in the area — Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey — get the food, water, shelter, household supplies and clothing they need. They have also focused on creating safe spaces for children traumatized by conflict.
NetHope: NetHope is responding to the crisis in Syria by tackling crucial ICT (information and communications technology) related issues in the region and providing action plans and deliverables on each. ICT issues include cyber security for nonprofits; information portal for refugees and displaced peoples; connectivity access and smartphone charging stations along migration routes; and eLearning opportunities to children and youth in refugee camps. Learn more here (download).
Oxfam America: Oxfam America is assisting people affected by the crisis across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan by providing clean drinking water and relief supplies, such as blankets and stoves, and vouchers for hygiene supplies. Oxfam is also helping families get information about their legal and human rights.
We know the challenges facing the world are complex and at times, it can be daunting to assess the best way to get involved. Please let us know if this curated list of resources and information about NGOs working on the ground in Syria has been useful by contacting our Global Philanthropy lead, Michele Frix at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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