The Syrian conflict and its spillover into Iraq is the deadliest conflict the 21st century has witnessed thus far (Aljazeera). As this crisis enters its sixth year, civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life (UNOCHA). According to the UN, all parties to the conflict have committed war crimes – including murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearances – and there are accusations of using civilian suffering, such as blocking access to food, water and health services through sieges, as a method of war (BBC). Innocent civilians have been caught in the crossfire of intense fighting, including the military offensives in late 2016 in Aleppo, Syria and Mosul, Iraq. 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance (UNOCHA). Civilians are facing food and water shortages, insecurity due to mortar attacks, shelling, bombing and snipers. Families have fled their homes as a result of food and water shortages, lack of medical care and basic services. Many have had their homes taken over by armed groups.
There are over 4.8 million refugees and 6.3 million internally displaced people (IDPs) who have been forced to flee their homes in what is the largest displacement crisis in the world (UNOCHA). Fearful for their lives and in an effort to protect their children, families flee their home, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Families may be separated and children may be unaccompanied, with a heightened risk of trafficking and exploitation.
Aleppo and other regions across Syria. Mosul and other regions in northern and western Iraq.
People fleeing conflict need all of the basics to sustain their lives including food, clothing, shelter, medical and health assistance, hygiene items and access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Over winter, temperatures have plummeted and hot meals, health care and winter appropriate clothing and shelter are desperately needed, especially for children.
Already dire food shortages and destruction of health facilities is making survival increasingly difficult for thousands of civilians. 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (UNOCHA).
THE COLOUR SISTERHOOD RESPONSE.
Our partners are providing front line humanitarian assistance to meet urgent and critical needs of those fleeing conflict and violence. Our partners have history and experience working in the area. They work within established coordination structures, seek to support existing services and source supplies locally to support local economies. They also work in partnership with local organisations, including local churches who have had new opportunities to serve their communities in the midst of this conflict. You can support the emergency relief efforts of World Vision, Preemptive Love Coalition & Open Doors to provide lifesaving assistance to families who have been forced from their homes, fleeing violence.
Emergency Response: Aleppo, Syria
Preemptive Love Coalition
Food Relief and Shelter from the Cold: Aleppo, Syria
Winter Clothing for Families: Syria