Syria’s civil war has created a heartbreaking humanitarian crisis. More than 11 million people have been affected. Syrian refugees are fleeing violence and looking for safety in other countries. Some families are struggling to survive in Syria while the war continues and others are risking their lives traveling to Europe to escape tyranny.
This trouble started with anti-government demonstrations in March of 2011. The demonstrations were part of a rebellion called the Arab Spring. As the peaceful protests continued, the Syrian government used violence to end them. Soon many Syrian groups opposed to the government, began to fight back with weapons.
This war has been going on for more than five years and has killed over 250,000 people. Bombs are destroying crowded cities right now and there is barely any food or medical care. Many Syrian refugees are living in Jordan and Lebanon. They must find a way to pay rent without any legal way to work. They struggle to find odd jobs and accept low salaries that often don’t cover their basic needs. Clean water and sanitation in crowded settlements is a big concern. Diseases spread easily and there are not enough doctors, hospitals or medicines. Mercy Corps, an aid organization that assists people who are suffering from poverty or oppression, has been working with Syrian refugees since 2012.
Is there anything we can we do to help? The Mercy Corps website, (link below,) has some suggestions for ways you can help the people suffering as a result of this tragic situation.
Photos : Cassandra Nelson and Sumaya Agha for MercyCorps