U.S. to greatly expand resettlement for Syrian refugees

By Anne Gearan September 30 The Obama administration will greatly increase the number of Syrian refugees approved for permanent resettlement in the United States next year but has opted against a separate refugee program to serve victims of that intractable civil war, administration officials said Tuesday. The State Department is reviewing more than 4,000 applications from Syrian refugees seeking permanent homes in the United States next year or beyond, up from dozens considered for resettlement this year and last, officials said. The expansion reflects determinations by the United Nations refugee agency and the United States that tens of thousands of refugees living outside Syria are unlike

PRESS RELEASE: Syrian Coalition calls on UN Secretary-General to protect refugees and investigate in

Posted by Syrian Coalition on September 26, 2014 On hearing reports of the Lebanese armed forces and sectarian elements terrorizing the refugee population in the Syria-Lebanon border town of Arsal, Hadi al Bahra, President of the Syrian Coalition, urgently called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to protect of the population and investigate the incident. While in New York, President al Bahra delivered a letter to the UN Secretary-General demanding that the UN immediately investigate the matter and report to the UN Security Council on circumstances leading to the incident, culpability, and recommendations for next steps. The letter also demanded that UNIFIL assume the role of protecting the

Letter to UN Secretary General on the Situation in Arsal

Posted by Syrian Coalition on September 26, 2014 25 September 2014 Dear Mr. Secretary-General, On behalf of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces (Syrian Coalition), I am writing to call your urgent attention to reports of a series of appalling attacks carried out against a vulnerable population of Syrian refugees perilously trapped in camps in the Lebanese town of Arsal, near the border with Syria. During the early hours of Thursday, 25 September 2014, elements of the Lebanese armed forces entered refugee camps located in Arsal, reportedly to conduct a counterterrorist operation. Credible reports, however, indicate that Lebanese Army personnel, acting alongsi

U.N. Food Program Warns of Cuts to Its Relief Efforts

By SOMINI SENGUPTASEPT. 22, 2014 UNITED NATIONS — Just months after a United Nations Security Council resolution pressed Syria to open several of its border crossings to humanitarian aid convoys, money has dried up and allotments of grain and lentils are set to shrink significantly next month, the head of the World Food Program said Monday. “We have increased access, but because of a lack of resources it’s going to force us to cut rations in October and again in November,” Ertharin Cousin, the head of the agency, said in an interview on the eve of an annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly. The ration packets for Syrians living inside the country will be cut by 40 percent, sh

Increased investment in education and protection helps safeguard the future of a generation of child

Millions more children at risk as the crisis deepens Over the last year, an additional 770,000 children affected by the Syria crisis benefitted from some form of education and almost 660,000 children received psychological support. “Helping the children of Syria is investing in the future of Syria, as today’s children are tomorrow’s doctors, teachers, lawyers and leaders. Investing in this generation is helping them acquire the skills and knowledge they will need to rebuild their communities when peace returns,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We need to heal their hearts and minds. And there is so much more to be done.” The deepening crisis in Syria continues to put an entire


New York, NY, Sept. 18, 2014 … The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in Jordan hailed Pope Francis for highlighting the worsening plight of suffering Syrian refugees in Jordan. Pope Francis said during an interfaith meeting in Rome today that he wanted to visit the hundreds of thousands of refugees, including many Christians, who are suffering in refugee camps after escaping severe persecution in Syria and Iraq. “We applaud Pope Francis for bringing crucial attention and support to the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st Century,” Dr. Georgette Bennett, the founder and president of the Multifaith Alliance, said in a statement. “The numbers of refugees fleeing to Jordan is exploding,

Syrian Associate on John Batchelor Radio Show

Tune in tonight, September 18 at 10 p.m. Eastern to the John Batchelor radio show when Multifaith Alliance Syrian Associate Amin Ahmed discusses the worsening Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan and MFA’s efforts to help refugees today, and plant seeds for a better future. http://johnbatchelorshow.com/ You can hear the interview via a "listen live" link here: http://player.listenlive.co/25211 John Batchelor’s twitter is @batchelorshow https://www.facebook.com/batchelorshow

Are We Listening?

"For the millions of women and girls whose lives have been uprooted by the more than three-year-old Syrian crisis, daily life is an exhausting struggle – from searching for clean water and food for their families, to navigating foreign cities or refugee camps while trying to stay safe and avoid harassment, to grappling with threats of domestic violence in their own homes." Read more: http://www.rescue.org/arewelistening

Top UN humanitarian officials visit Syrian refugees, call for support for Lebanon

DEIR EL AHMAR, Lebanon, UNHCR – Before the Syrian civil war, the picturesque Lebanese hill town of Deir El Ahmar saw occasional seasonal field workers arriving from Syria to pick tobacco, onions and other crops and then return home after the harvest. Today, 14 settlements dot the outskirts of the town overlooking the Bekaa Valley and around 5,000 refugees live there. Few are showing signs of going home. Across Lebanon, tensions between host communities and Syrian refugees-now more than 1.4 million-are growing, thanks in part to events such as the kidnapping of Lebanese soldiers by Syrian militants. In this environment, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and the head of th

Jordan’s growing economic troubles could aid jihadist recruitment: Salafi-jihadi threat to Jordan is

As Jordan deals with growing economic difficulties and civil disturbances, jihadists from al-Qaida’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State could try to take advantage of the circumstances by gaining new recruits, a study finds. An Islamic State terrorist holds a flag with the group's insignia.. (photo credit:REUTERS) The author of the study, David Schenker, the director of the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former official dealing with the Middle East for the Pentagon, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that he does not think the Salafi/jihadi threat to Jordan is being overhyped. “Given what’s happening in Syria and Iraq, concerns about the sec

Syria’s brutal war threatens international peace and security

"Based on 480 interviews and a wealth of documentary material relating to violations which took place in the Syrian Arab Republic between 20 January and 15 July 2014, the latest report details the immeasurable suffering of the Syrian people. Fighting has engulfed civilian areas, destroying the barest possibility of normal life. The impact has been particularly grave for women and children, whose most basic rights are being infringed daily..." See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/SyriaBrutalWarThreatensInternationalPeaceAndSecurity.aspx#sthash.4FShB088.dpuf

The UN announced last week that over three million, or almost one in two, Syrians are now refugees.

Photos by AP The UN announced last week that over three million, or almost one in two, Syrians are now refugees. Since violence in the country began three years ago, the United States has only taken in less than 200 of them. While the number of refugees has topped three million, only 5,000 have registered and been resettled according to Oxfam. 10.8 million people are left behind in Syria, facing ongoing violence and civilian attacks. Most Syrians have fled to nearby countries, with 1.17 million in Lebanon, 830,000 in Turkey, and 613,000 in Jordan. Others have registered in Iraq and Egypt, and an unknown number has died trying to leave Syria. The West has generally failed to support the milli

News from UNESCO on Twitter

"In Jordan, we're training youth in humanitarian journalism, so they can better engage Syrian refugees http://ow.ly/AYZ1L #radio #Syria"

The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in Jordan Mourns Slaying of Journalist Steven Sotloff

"Last year, Steven Sotloff, the American-Israeli journalist beheaded by Islamic State terrorists, authored an article for The Jerusalem Report on the turmoil in Syria." His article concluded with some chilling words that unfortunately still hold true today: "As Syria descends deeper into chaos, violence is becoming a basic staple more abundant than bread. And as it does, the human cost of a war that will not end soon is becoming increasingly unbearable." See his poignant report in its entirety here: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Steven-Sotloff-writes-about-Syrias-suffering-a-year-before-his-execution-374322

A former UN relief coordinator says Iraqi and Syrian refugees pose the biggest humanitarian crisis o

“The Syrian catastrophe and the Iraqi one — which are now one big war and exodus — is the biggest challenge ... on this generation’s watch,” says Jan Egeland, who heads the Norwegian Refugee Council. Egeland is now in northern Iraq, where he’s touring local refugee camps and shelters. The former United Nations relief coordinator says many people came to the camps fleeing from Islamist fighters. “Every five minutes, you hear stories from families who tell about witnessing massacres,” he says. “Witnessing neighbors, families and relatives being massacred.” “They all tell stories about young girls and others being abducted,” he continues. “Some of them may end up in human trafficking, to Europe

Health centers provide medical assistance to displaced Syrians in Jordan

Within programs of the Saudi National Campaign to Support Syrian Brothers, the Saudi specialized ‎health centers continue to provide medical services to displaced Syrians in Zaatari Camp in Jordan. Doctors at the clinics said Sunday they have treated more than 2,360 patients last week. There are currently 13 ‎specialized health centers operating in the camp and are part of the Kingdom’s national campaign at ‎supporting the Syrian refugees and to provide health care to the camp residents. Specialized health centers ‎at the Zaatari camp comprise 13 medical clinics including specialized cardiology, dermatology and surgery ‎units. Since the medical centers were set up in the camp 20 months ago,

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