This holiday season we are reminded of the many refugees across the world whose children need our help. According to UNICEF’s latest report on the state of the world’s children, “nearly 250 million children live in countries and areas affected by armed conflict, and millions more bear the brunt of climate-related disasters and chronic crises.”
As one of the most recent examples, since the end of August, more than 500,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed the border from Myanmar (Burma), fleeing horrific violence. The UN Refugee Agency said on October 16th that the “speed and scale of the influx made it the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis and a major humanitarian emergency.” This has since proven to be a continuing growing crisis, along with refugee and migrant crises across the world. In fact, International Rescue Committee says “more people have been forced to flee their homes by conflict and crisis than at any time since World War II.” This includes over 12 million people who fled the Syrian civil war since 2011, with 5 million of them being refugees and finding shelter in neighboring states.
As we contemplate to help these many people, a sobering fact is that over half of the world’s refugees are children. These children’s lives are changed forever as they confront violence, malnutrition, lack of education, and family displacement. Aid agencies need our help to be able to offer food, shelter, education, and counseling. While government efforts and peacemaking are ultimately what can bring an end to these crises, meanwhile the people need to survive.
This season there are many choices for you to make in considering where you might donate funds to help those less fortunate. Certainly, local organizations with local concerns are important. But when it comes to refugee issues, consider donating to these organizations:
International Rescue Committee
International Medical Corps
International Committee of the Red Cross