Syrian Refugee Crisis

American Baptists Provide Aid to Syrian Refugees

Since 2011, Syria has been ravaged by a bitter civil war, and over 10 million Syrians have fled their homes to escape the violence. As the crisis has deepened over the last four years, International Ministries (IM) has responded in several ways. Using American Baptist gifts to the annual One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) provided $40,000 to assist partners serving refugees in Lebanon in 2012 and another $50,000 to serve displaced persons within Syria in 2013. Global personnel are working shoulder-to-shoulder with partners in Bulgaria and at the Hungarian-Serbian border.

The Board of Directors of IM recently passed a resolution on Syrian Refugees. The resolution paves the way for a focused mobilization of human and financial resources to pray for, meet the needs of and prepare to receive Syrian refugees.

As a first step in this next stage of response, IM has sent an additional $10,000 in OGHS emergency funding to provide immediate relief for Syrian refugees and IDPs. Of this grant, IM partners Hungarian Baptist Aid and the Union of Baptist Churches of Serbia have each been given $5,000. The aid will be used to supply food and water, clothing, shelter and medical clinics. Future OGHS grants will support the efforts of all IM partners who are providing relief to Syrian IDPs and refugees.

Hungarian Baptist Aid workers went to Serbia to distribute food to refugees waiting at the Serbian-Hungarian border. The packages contained bread, milk and cooked dishes in cans. HBAid also gave financial aid for refugees' daily provisions.

The pool of OGHS funds available to make initial emergency grants is significantly depleted. Therefore, the ability of IM to provide aid for Syrian IDPs and refugees will depend on giving that is focused on this need. Individuals can make tax-deductible contributions through their local churches, online by credit card or by mailing a check to International Ministries, Attn: Syria Refugee Relief, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482. All checks should be identified with "OGHS-Syria Relief" on the memo line.

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