Published: 09:30 GMT Standard Time - Wednesday 18 December 2013
Winter storm brings snow to Syria; urgent need for blankets, heaters, coats
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria
“All Aleppo people are enduring the white Aleppo with heavy snow and bitter coldness and no fuel or electricity. It is minus 7-10.”
Christians in Syria urgently need blankets, heaters and warm clothing as the region is hit by a winter storm that has brought heavy snow, rain and freezing temperatures. Launching a record appeal this week, the UN said that nearly half of those who remain in Syria are reliant on aid and this is expected to rise to nearly three-quarters next year.
|Blankets from Barnabas were given out in time for winter|
Refugees living in camps in neighbouring countries and those displaced within Syria are suffering the most. When they fled their homes, they had to leave most of their possessions behind, so they are without winter clothing and other essentials.
They were already struggling as a result of a lack of food and adequate shelter, but the freezing weather has exacerbated their plight. A child is reported to have died from exposure.
And this is just the beginning of what meteorologists are forecasting will be one of the harshest winters in Syria for 100 years.
|Barnabas is distributing warm clothing to Christian children in Syria|
Anticipating the need for blankets, heaters and warm clothing, Barnabas Aid started distributing such items some weeks ago and the work is ongoing as the needs are vast.
Last month, we gave out 1,094 blankets in Wadi al-Nasara (“Valley of the Christians”), where many displaced Christians have sought refuge, and we are now distributing 3,000 more. And in Aleppo, which has been beset by power outages, leaving people without heating, we are giving out 1,500 heaters.
We have provided 1,880 Christians, mostly children, with coats and other warm clothes. One of the recipients in Aleppo said, “In helping us, you told us that Jesus, our Lord, has not abandoned us.”
Our partners bought the items in bulk before the cold weather set in, enabling us to get the goods at a lower price than expected and thereby allowing us to buy more.
In addition to facing difficulties created by the wintry conditions, the Syrian population is also at risk of starvation, according to a warning from the International Rescue Committee. Barnabas is continuing to provide around 30,000 Christians in Syria with food and other basic needs every month.
Will you help?
- £11 buys a warm coat for a Christian child
(€13; US$18; AUS$20; NZ$22)
- £12 buys a thick blanket for a Christian family
(€14; US$20; AUS$22; NZ$24)
- £25 buys a food parcel to help a Christian family for one month
(€30; US$41; AUS$46; NZ$49)
- £31 buys a heater for a Christian family
(€37; US$50; AUS$57; NZ$61)
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:
As the bitter winter season sets in, we are especially mindful of the suffering of our Christian family in Syria. Uprooted from their homes and exposed to the elements, they desperately need our help. Please consider making an extra Christmas gift this year to enable a vulnerable brother or sister to stay warm. It could save their life.
If you would like to help Syrian Christians stay warm and fed this winter, please send a donation to the Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (project 00-1032).
For information about making an electronic bank transfer to Barnabas Aid, click here:
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (project 00-1032).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/1032 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- Pray that temperatures will rise in Syria and Lebanon, where many Syrians are living in refugee camps.
- Pray for all Syrians who are displaced from their homes, that they will receive the shelter and supplies they need to keep warm throughout the winter.
- Give thanks that Barnabas recipients have experienced the practical love and care of their Heavenly Father through the provision of clothing and other items.