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Lutheran Disaster Response

Situation Report: Belarus Refugee Crisis

A map of Poland and Belarus

 

Situation:

Since the beginning of November, refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have been stuck at the Belarus-Poland border. To retaliate against European Union sanctions, Belarus is granting refugees seven-day visas, then forcing the refugees into other countries, such as Poland. Polish soldiers aren’t letting the migrants into the country, leaving them in limbo at the border. They are experiencing a lack of food, medical supplies and shelter and are facing winter weather with no place to go.

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Response:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belarus is providing assistance to refugees by distributing warm clothes, food and other essential items. There are also volunteers who speak Arabic and other languages to help communicate with the refugees. Further support from Lutheran Disaster Response will allow the church to provide mattresses, bedding, clothes, food and hygiene items to over 1,000 migrants.

 

 

 

 

 

Be a part of the response:

Pray
Please pray for people who have been affected by the refugee crisis in Belarus. May God’s healing presence give them peace and hope in their time of need.

Give
Thanks to generous donations, Lutheran Disaster Response is able to respond quickly and effectively to disasters around the globe. Your gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response (Middle East and Europe Refugee Crisis) will be used to assist refugees seeking safer lives.

Connect
To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response:

  • Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts.
  • Check the Lutheran Disaster Response blog.
  • Like Lutheran Disaster Response on Facebook, follow @ELCALDR on Twitter, and follow @ELCA_LDR on Instagram.
  • Download the situation report and share as a PDF.

Carry Each Other’s Burdens

Children in the Zaatari Refugee Camp, located near Mafraq, Jordan. Opened in July, 2012, the camp holds upwards of 20,000 refugees from the civil war inside Syria. International Orthodox Christian Charities and other members of the ACT Alliance are active in the camp providing essential items and services.

Children in the Zaatari Refugee Camp, located near Mafraq, Jordan. Opened in July 2012, the camp holds upwards of 20,000 refugees from the civil war inside Syria. International Orthodox Christian Charities and other members of the ACT Alliance are active in the camp providing essential items and services.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

– Galatians 6:2

Conflict and high levels of violence have continued throughout Syria. It has caused one of the largest refugee/migrant incidents the world has seen in decades. Over 3 million Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries. About 1.5 million of them have fled to Jordan with roughly 12,000 still waiting outside the border to gain entry. The number of refugees in the country has put a strain on the Jordanian economy. The lack of financial support coupled with the impossibility of attaining work visas has created a sense of hopelessness among the refugees. To help restore hope in the people, our partners Lutheran World Federation/ Department of World Services have established the “Peace Oasis” in Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan. At the Peace Oasis, Lutheran World Federation offers Syrian refugee youth and young adults psychosocial support, conflict mitigation, recreational skills. They also offer informal education and vocational training. They are being taught skills such as hairdressing/barbering and sewing that will leave them with income-generating skills for the future.

With all of these efforts, the majority of refugees are still living far below the Jordanian poverty line and there is still an overwhelming number of people who are failing to meet their basic needs. Bishop Elizabeth Eaton recent visited the camp and said, “We believe that the cross of life is where there is suffering. It certainly is in that camp in Jordan.” As a body of Christ, we are called to carry each other’s burdens. And thanks to your generous donations, the ELCA has committed another $70,000 to respond to this continued crisis. These funds will go towards providing cash assistance to help with basic needs such as rent, food, clothes, etc., for the most vulnerable in Jordan.

 

To Give to the Syrian Refugee Crisis please visit the Middle East and Europe Refugee Crisis Give Page.

For more information on Bishop Eaton’s Visit:

http://www.elca.org/News-and-Events/7806

For more information on the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan visit:

UN: http://www.unhcr.org/569d17876.html

LWF: https://www.lutheranworld.org/content/jordan-0

LDR: https://blogs.elca.org/disasterresponse/syria-cold-temperatures-warm-hearts/