There are currently over 2 million Syrian refugees. Over 1 million of them are children. After hearing news reports of chemical weapons attacks, it is understandable why so many would be fleeing the nation for surrounding areas. But, the exodus is causing an unprecedented strain on neighboring communities and nations. Many of the Syrian refugees have gone to Lebanon, which currently has the highest number of refugees in the region and is now facing catastrophic problems as a result.
These Syrian refugees leave behind their homes and livelihoods in the hopes for better living conditions for them and their families. However, the reality is that what they have encountered upon leaving Syria is starvation, improper housing and unsafe living conditions for them and their families.
Some have become so desperate that they have begun selling or leasing their children to earn money and provide for their families. George Saad, president of TREA recently said. “The situation in Lebanon is getting worse by the day, as a larger number of refugees are entering the Lebanese territory fleeing from the war in Syria. And as their duration here is being extended with no means of earning money, their desperation is so deep,” He goes on to say, “We have been recently confronted with the issue that many Syrian refugees are ‘selling’ and ‘leasing’ their children in return of money so that they can make ends meet. A mother ‘leased’ or should I say ‘mortgaged’ her 11-month-old daughter to a neighbor for the amount of $400 so that she could buy medication for her dying father. Mothers and fathers are literally ‘selling’ their daughters as young as 13 years old in return of money. Yes, the situation is worsening, be it socially, morally or financially.”
The UN Refugee Agency estimates that there are over 450,000 Syrian refugees currently in Lebanon. With the recent chemical weapons that were targeted at Syrian civilians even more people are fleeing the nation and leaving behind everything, hoping to find better safer living conditions. Instead, they are faced with starvation, poor living conditions and no source of income.
In an effort to alleviate some of their struggles, Feeding The Nations provided food and supplies to assist over 600 families and is preparing to provide more family boxes to those in need. FTN provided funding for hundreds of boxes of food purchased in country that included items such as rice, pasta, salt, sugar, flour, beans, oil, milk, blankets and mattresses. Pastor Saad reported that one of the areas that received a portion of the boxes was in such a troubled location that they had difficulties finding drivers and volunteers who would go distribute the food.
Our hearts break with the news of what is happening in Syria and Lebanon. We cannot even begin to personally understand the depth of desperation these families must be experiencing. We pray that this food will provide some relief for the refugees. We also pray that they will find comfort and hope in Christ.