On World Refugee Day Christian World Service congratulates New Zealanders for extending hospitality and practical support to refugee communities.
Today over 70 people complete a five day challenge to live on the rations of a refugee for Operation Refugee. Their combined efforts have so far raised nearly $30,000 for refugees from Syria.
CWS is asking those who can to donate to the Syria Appeal to keep the lifeline going to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon on World Refugee Day. The New Zealand Government will match donations made by August 1.
“The numbers of people seeking refuge is the highest since World War II. Refugees need our prayers and support now. Most of all they need an end to the conflicts that are forcing them to leave their homes and countries,” says Pauline McKay National Director.
The UNHCR reports more than 4.8 million Syrians are sheltering in neighbouring countries. There are more than 65.3 million displaced people in the world.
CWS is appealing for funds for longstanding partner the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR), a programme of the Middle East Council of Churches with whom it has worked since 1949.
DSPR is providing food, education, medical care and comfort to thousands of Syrians as well as Palestinians since the Syrian conflict began over five years ago.
“Refugees have proven their resilience and deserve the chance to rebuild their lives in a place of safety. Like many other individuals and groups, CWS believes New Zealand can find a place for more people who have fled homes and livelihoods,” says Pauline McKay.
CWS supports the campaign to double the refugee quota and is hopeful that with more pressure the government will increase the quota. Last Tuesday the government announced an increase of 250 places for refugees under the quota from 2018, making a total of 1,000 a year.
UNHCR reports 1.19 million refugees will need resettling by 2017, making New Zealand’s contribution around 0.08% of the need.CWS has prepared worship resources for churches celebrating Refugee Sunday on 26 June “I cry aloud to God” and 3 July in Anglican Churches (“Peace to this house”). A children’s PowerPoint and worksheet are also available. Churches are encouraged to take up an offering or organise a fundraising event to help.
Note: CWS is a member of ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), a global coalition of more than 140 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development in more than 140 countries.
20 June 2016
Aged 6 Taim crossed the Aegean Sea last year with his family, landing on the island of Chios, Greece. Credit: ACT Alliance/P Jeffrey.