The growing number of refugees is deeply worrying and an indication of the urgent need for global action according to Christian World Service.
CWS is appealing for greater support to fund local relief for some of the most pressing humanitarian situations, and more action to address the drivers of displacement.
“The level of humanitarian need is unprecedented and widely acknowledged. It has not resulted in the necessary action – either to stop the conflicts from which people are fleeing or provide for the immediate safety and care of those displaced. More help is urgent,” says Pauline McKay, National Director.
This Sunday Methodist and Presbyterian Churches mark Refugee Sunday, which will be celebrated on July 1 in the Anglican tradition. CWS has produced worship resources for churches. Churches are encouraged to organise an offering for displaced people from Syria, South Sudan, Rohingya, or Gaza.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports 68.5 million people had fled their homes in 2017, up from 65.6 million in 2016.
A record 25.4 million people registered as refugees in 2017. 85% found shelter in developing countries where they often struggle to meet their daily needs with very limited support from the global community. The UNHCR appeal to assist the largest population of refugees from Syria (6.3 million) is only 17% funded this year. 40 million more are displaced within their own country.
New Zealand churches have helped to resettle refugees and funded relief efforts for more than seventy years. Caring for the refugee is an important responsibility in the Christian faith. CWS has been a strong supporter of initiatives to increase the quota of refugees resettled in New Zealand. Last year the quota was increased from 750 to 1,000, and the current government plans to increase it to 1,500.
The Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration are currently under negotiation under the auspices of the United Nations.
CWS is grateful to participants in this year’s Operation Refugee raising funds to help Syrian refugees with food, education and medical care. Most complete the challenge to live on refugee rations today. However, people are welcome to join the challenge or support participants until the end of July.
Donations can be made to appeals helping displaced people.
CWS is a member of ACT Alliance a global coalition of 146 churches and church-related organisations working together on humanitarian, development and advocacy in over 100 countries.
June 20, 2018