Worlds Apart: The Refugee Crisis

The images are heartbreaking. Their stories are gut wrenching. Echoes that this is the worst disaster since World War II are chilling.

Although life for us in Split remains quiet (we are over 500 miles from the Serbian border, where over 300,000 refugees have entered Croatia to date), I have a nagging feeling of helplessness. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the sheer size of the exodus, as well as the various charities accepting donations.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to help that go beyond simply retweeting a hashtag to raise awareness.

  • Support volunteers saving refugees at sea: The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) consists of humanitarians, security professionals, medical staff, and maritime officers who have joined together to help prevent disasters at sea. You can donate to the team here, funds go towards search and rescue equipment and technology.
  •  Don’t forget about the millions who can’t afford to leave: Here’s something unsettling – there are four million refugees still in the Middle East, namely Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and another seven million internally displaced inside Syria. Despite the UN issuing a $7.4bn appeal this year, they only managed to raise a third of their goal.

“Funding shortfalls in Syria can be the difference between life and death,” Stephen O’Brien, the U.N.’s undersecretary-general, warned. “The World Food Program has already scaled back food aid by one-fifth.” The cuts are also harming healthcare and education for Syrian children, he added.” Check out the full article here from the LA Times.

Have you donated time or money? How are you lending a hand? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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