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The conflict in Syria has produced the largest total displaced  population in the world, and more than 11 million displaced Syrians overall – that’s nearly half of the country’s entire population. Many have fled with and without their families, leaving behind the life they once knew to seek refuge. Despite a desperate need for peace, the situation in Syria remains dramatically unstable, forcing Syrians to continue to flee their homes amidst unrelenting suffering.

WHAT'S DRIVING SYRIANS TO FLEE?

Syria has experienced brutal violence for over seven years. Since 2011, the conflict has continued and accelerated and the consequences have been catastrophic for civilians, particularly children, who have been deprived of assistance and safety. The conflict has led to more than 400,000 people dead or missing and devastated cities and homes throughout the country.

WHERE ARE SYRIANS FLEEING TO?

More than 6 million Syrians are displaced within the country of Syria, and more than 5 million have sought refuge in other countries. The majority of these refugees are in neighboring countries – Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

HOW IS THE U.S. RESPONDING? 

The United States has resettled very few Syrian refugees. Only 21,000 Syrians have been admitted since the beginning of the conflict. Even fewer refugees are being resettled in recent months due to new Administration policy and procedure. In the first four months of 2018, only 11 Syrian refugees were admitted into the US. The U.S. also provides assistance for displaced Syrians within Syria and in neighboring countries. Since the conflict began in 2011, the U.S. has provided $6.5 billion in humanitarian assistance, the largest bilateral donor to the region, but more funding is needed to address the growing need.

WHAT ABOUT SYRIAN CHILDREN? 

1 in 3 Syrian children – both those internally displaced and refugees who have fled the country – are out of school. With this number of children without an education, there is risk of losing an entire generation. Education provides stability and a sense of normalcy and acts as a form of vital psychosocial support to children whose lives have been impacted by trauma and violence. 

As it is around the world, education is a key service that the Jesuit Refugee Service provides to Syrian refugees. JRS provides pre-primary, primary, secondary, and post-secondary education for Syrian refugees in Syria and in host countries.

HOW IS JRS HELPING? 

JRS Syria began its work in 2008 with a range of activities and programs for Iraqis who had sought refuge in Syria. These activities changed dramatically with the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in March 2011. For more than seven years now, the war has taken its toll on the lives and property of the Syrian people: infrastructure is destroyed, and the economy is in shambles. 

JRS Syria has been responding to the needs of those most affected by the conflict in and around Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Kafroun, and rural Tartous. 

JRS has also served Syrian refugees in host countries around the world. In the region, our work in Lebanon and Jordan has helped Syrian refugees access education or recover from trauma. In Europe, JRS has helped Syrian refugees with everything from legal assistance to recreational activities.

HOW CAN I HELP?

  • Participate: On World Refugee Day we’ll deliver these signatures to the White House. If you’re in Washington, join us (click here for more). Or, join us remotely through Facebook Live (click here).
  • Give: Help Syrian refugees by supporting our work to accompany, serve, and advocate on their behalf. Visit JRSUSA.org/Donate to learn more.
Click here to download our 2-page FAQ and share with you friends, family, or community. If you have more questions you want to ask email them to jrscommuncations@jesuits.org or Tweet them @JRSUSA using #WithSyrians. 

For this World Refugee Day, June 20, 2018, JRS/USA is asking you, our friends and supporters, to join us in calling on the President to stand with and support our Syrian brothers and sisters. Click here to learn more about the campaign.


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