The crisis in Syria is having a devastating effect on the lives of millions of people, and that the humanitarian situation is getting worse by the day. According the United Nations, 2.5 million people in Syria are in urgent need of food aid, while thousands are fleeing into neighbouring countries every day. The scale of the crisis is overwhelming.
CAFOD is already supporting our Church partners in Syria, helping them to provide food, clothes and relief supplies to those most in need. Read an update from Mike Noyes, Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Latin America, Asia and the Middle East here. The extensive community networks of the Church mean that it is uniquely placed to act: our partners are able to provide life-saving aid in some of the worst hit and most inaccessible areas of Syria.
Given the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to respond, the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), of which CAFOD is a member, has decided to launch a nationwide appeal on March 20.
As a part of the DEC appeal, we wanted to let you know that CAFOD is scaling up its own Syria Crisis Appeal so that our Supporters can choose to give directly to CAFOD if they wish. This would enable us to scale up our work in Syria, as well as to support refugees who are streaming into countries like Lebanon and Turkey.
To enable us to do this, we are asking Parishes in South Wales to consider holding a special collection in support of our Syria Crisis Appeal on the weekend of 23/34 March (or at a convenient time soon after).
To help collections in Parishes run more smoothly, we have provided the following resources:
1. Order gift aid envelopes for your parish collection by calling 020 7095 5682 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please note that orders need to be received by the end of Tuesday 19 March to guarantee the arrival of envelopes in time for the collection.)
2. If time is short, you may prefer to download a gift aid declaration form at http://www.cafod.org.uk/syriacrisis.
3. Print off a donation coupon to send with the parish donations, also available at http://www.cafod.org.uk/syriacrisis.
We are acutely aware that your parishioners have just given extremely generously to our Lent Fast Day appeal. Their donations to the Fast Day appeal are crucial in funding long-term programmes, helping us to stand side by side with people in poor countries to end poverty and injustice. For this reason we would ask you not to divert your parish Lenten donations to our Syria Crisis appeal but to hold a separate appeal if you would like to respond to this emergency.
We greatly appreciate your continued support and whether or not you can hold a collection at this time, please do continue to pray for all those people who are caught up in this terrifying crisis. Here is a bidding prayer for the people of Syria and its neighbouring countries that you may like to use in your parish.
If you wish to give directly to this appeal please click here.