Canada to help war-weary Syrians
John Baird in Ottawa May 11, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Save the Children did not waste any time congratulating the federal government for its response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Shortly after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced financial support to the war-ravaged country while visiting refugee Camp Za'atari on the Jordan-Syria border Saturday, the organization applauded the move.
In a statement, Baird said, "The urgent needs on the ground are immense and growing by the day. The real human tragedy of this crisis is something that can’t be put into words. Nearly two million Syrians have been displaced by the civil war now raging in their homeland. Today’s announcement provides Jordan with $6.5 million in new assistance to help meet its needs in responding to the crisis."
Patricia Erb, president of Save the Children, says that children represent more than half of Syrians fleeing their country.
"They have been traumatized by the violence they have experienced, and although safe from the conflict, as refugees their lives are a daily struggle," she said in a statement. "The needs are great, which is why Canada's support for the humanitarian effort is crucial. We thank Minister Baird for coming to witness the challenging conditions faced by refugee children and their families and for the commitment of the Canadian government to address this humanitarian crisis."
The organization says it has "established child-friendly spaces to respond to the urgent protection needs of vulnerable Syrian children inside the camp" and "will establish an alternative care system inside the camps to respond to the needs of unaccompanied minors."
Canada is also providing $2 million to Canadian Relief for Syria, which will provide medical supplies for doctors and health care providers within Syria’s borders, and $1.5 million in humanitarian assistance to the United Nations World Food Programme to meet the basic food needs of up to 185,000 Syrian refugees.