December 21, 2019

Dear Friends,

The humanitarian mission of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) is to get the right relief, to the right people – at the right time. Our mandate requires continual awareness of the current needs – and also a hyper-sensitivity to the ever-changing landscape and the inevitable human impact. 

In 2019, the Syrian people continued to be victims of the interplay of international actors – all seeking control of territory, oil fields and military and geopolitical advantage over this beleaguered country. The unfolding events made MFA’s mission more complex – and that much more necessary.

In Idlib, in northwest Syria, millions have been displaced by Russian air raids. The use of chlorine gas and barrel bombs continued. The UN opened an investigation of Russia’s deliberate targeting of hospitals, and fleeing civilians were often left without shelter of any kind.

In Turkey, 13% unemployment led to a backlash against Syrian refugees. The country had admitted 3.6 million refu...

November 5, 2019

Multifaith Alliance Founder Georgette Bennett Wins AARP Purpose Prize

The AARP Prize is a recognition of Bennett’s efforts to get humanitarian aid to internally displaced Syrians

New York, November 5 – The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), which has delivered over $130 million worth of desperately-needed humanitarian aid to internally displaced people in Syria, today announced that its founder, Dr. Georgette Bennett, was awarded AARP’s prestigious Purpose Prize. The prize was awarded in recognition of Dr. Bennett’s tireless efforts to bring together over 100 organizations representing a host of different faiths for a common purpose – getting food, medicine, and other essentials into the hands of the millions of Syrians displaced by the ongoing Syrian civil war.

“I am humbled to receive the Purpose Prize,” said Dr. Bennett. “As the child of Holocaust survivors and a refugee myself, I know that silence in the face of horrific tragedy compounds the pain of victims struggling to...

October 29, 2019

Congressmen Wilson, Kildee, Chabot, and Gonzalez Introduce “The Stop UN Support for Assad Act of 2019

On October 28th, Congressmen Joe Wilson (R-SC), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) introduced the bi-partisan bill HR 4868, the Stop UN Support for Assad Act of 2019, which will ensure that U.S. taxpayer money does not benefit the Assad regime in Syria.

Bennett Gross, Executive Director of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrians Refugees (MFA) welcomed this announcement, stating that, “In delivering humanitarian relief into war-torn Syria, MFA has seen first-hand the Assad Regime’s callous disregard for its people and country. The cruelty has been overwhelming in scale and scope. It is extremely unfortunate that the UN works with the Assad regime to send international aid, which is so often diverted to non-humanitarian purposes and to supporting the further brutalization of the innocent people of Syria. TThis legislation will get to the heart of the matter –...

October 25, 2019

Turkish Military Offensive in Syria

Recent events in Northern Syria are certainly disturbing. On October 6th, President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of the 1000 US troops that remained in Syria. On October 9th, Turkey’s President Recap Tayip Erdogan ordered Operation Peaceful Spring to commence as the bombing of Northern Syria began. Since 2011, Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia that worked with the United States to fight the Islamic State, was the region’s overarching political force.

For many years, northeast Syria had been a place of refuge for people fleeing other battle-stricken parts of Syria. 650,000 living in the region have already been displaced at least one time in their lives. Since the fighting 300,000 people have been displaced, and more and more people are being displaced every day. Camps that had been established for displaced persons have been evacuated due to the violence. Medical facilities and the entire civilian infrastructure – powerlines, wat...

October 4, 2019

Moria Camp: A Researcher's Reflection

In certain places, just a few kilometers separate the Greek island of Lesvos from the Turkish coast, making it one of the most frequented points of entry into Europe for refugees and migrants. Since 2015, boats have arrived on the island almost daily. Oftentimes, they are dinghies crammed with dozens of people who have risked everything to make the journey to Europe. For the first several years, most of the arrivals to Lesvos were Syrians who were fleeing the ongoing conflict in their homeland, however now most of the boats are filled Afghan, Congolese or Eritrean individuals.

The journey to Greece is incredibly treacherous from start to finish and since 2015, thousands of men, women, and children have drowned attempting it. However, despite this sobering truth, many of the refugees who have made it to Lesvos say the horrors of their journey don’t compare to the “hell” they face every day once they reach the island.

Upon arrival, the vast majority o...

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Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees is a project of the Tides Center 
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