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Canadian Anglicans pledge $300k for displaced Syrians

Posted on: January 22, 2016 3:06 PM
Flowers and candles after a memorial service on the beach where the body of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi was washed up. News coverage of his death resulted in a spike in donations to the Anglican Church of Canada's Primate's World Relief and Development Fund
Photo Credit: Defend International

[Anglican Journal, by Tali Folkins] More much-needed necessities will soon be on their way to families displaced by the war in Syria. The [Anglican Church of Canada's] Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) on 20 January announced a $300,000 [CDN, approximately £148,000 GBP] grant for necessities of life such as food, water, shelter, clothing, schooling, blankets, livelihood support, counselling and other forms of aid.

The assistance, PWRDF said, will go to thousands of families left homeless by the war, some still in Syria and others now living in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. The grant is being made through the ACT Alliance, a coalition of 137 faith-based organizations for humanitarian aid, development and advocacy.

PWRDF began working on Syrian relief soon after the country began to be torn apart by civil strife in 2011. This latest grant, however, was made possible by an “enormous outpouring of generosity from Canadian Anglicans,” PWRDF said, that followed “last year’s focus on Syrian refugees entering Europe, the unfortunate death of Alan Kurdi and the re-emergence of the Syrian situation on the Canadian political agenda.”

Donations to many aid organizations spiked significantly after the publication in early September of a photograph showing the body of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy, on a Turkish beach. Alan had died after his crowded boat capsized en route to Greece. Since September 12, 2015, according to PWRDF, Canadian Anglicans have donated $488,605 for relief in and around Syria.

“This is how people’s donations for Syrian relief are making a difference,” said PWRDF spokesman Simon Chambers.

Until 29 February 2016, these donations are being matched dollar-for-dollar by the Canadian government for its Syria Emergency Relief Fund.

Since Syria’s civil war began in 2011, about eight million people have been made homeless inside the country, and more than four million have fled to other countries, most notably Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. According to the PWRDF, Syrian refugees now make up more than 20 percent of the population of Lebanon.