Sep 23, 2015
Local and global nonprofits and charities are receiving an outpouring of donations and support for refugees fleeing Syria for Europe and North America. According to a United Nations report, more than 4 million people are displaced across Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan due to the ongoing civil strife in Syria. Meanwhile, 7.6 million Syrians are stuck amid the fighting in their country, the UN Refugee Agency reported.
Donations for American nonprofits on rise
Monetary giving to The United States Fund for UNICEF surged by 636 percent while traffic to the international aid's website increased threefold, according to The New York Times. The fund said it is experiencing more new contributors along with a renewed sense of urgency from its corporate donors.
Meanwhile, Save the Children, an international non-governmental agency, is seeing a boost of support for the displaced youth from the Middle Eastern nation. According to both The United States Fund for UNICEF and Save the Children, images of the displaced people, especially children, could be the explanation for the increase in donations. Putting a face to the crisis and the millions of refugees through photos is having a greater affect on potential donors than listing numbers, according to The Times.
Prior to the increased media attention surrounding the crisis, Miles' organization was only able to raise $200,000 for Syrian aid work in the past eight months, The Times reported.
"In the last eight days, we've raised $800,000," Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, told The Times. "It really did change things."
Nonprofits taking action
Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that rates charitable institutions on their trustworthiness and transparency, currently lists 18 organizations on its website that accept donations online to help refugees from the Syrian civil war. Besides UNICEF and Save the Children, other nonprofits and NGOs include Oxfam America, the American Refugee Committee and Catholic Relief Services.
Organizations across America and Canada from nonprofit, Hay Doun in Canada to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are helping or awaiting the incoming refugees escaping Syria. Hay Doun is finding housing and providing relief to more than 600 people affected by the crisis, according to CTV News.
President Obama recently announced he wants to welcome 10,000 displaced people from the Syrian civil war by next fiscal year, according to The Washington Post.
"We want them to be able to transition to self-sufficiency," Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told The Post. "The idea of the program is to stay. They could return, but most of them will stay. Then they'll try to petition for families to join them if they can."