Episcopal Relief & Development is engaging the Syrian crisis through support to agencies in Syria, to the Diocese of Jerusalem’s Holy Land Institute for the Deaf and in support of large numbers of people traveling out of crisis areas into Europe. The agency is in contact with Anglican Communion partners through The Episcopal Church’s Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and The Church of England’s Diocese in Europe, as well as interfaith partners such as Islamic Relief.
“Our relationships with Anglican Communion and ecumenical organizations enable us to contribute efficiently and effectively to the relief of those fleeing the Syrian conflict,” said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President for Programs. “These agencies are leveraging our support to meet critical needs for basic supplies, as well as language and cultural mediation to lower the anxiety of displacement and help people access available services.”
In Italy, St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome operates the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center as its primary outreach ministry, providing a safe space for 200-250 individuals per day to access legal, vocational, medical and language services. Episcopal Relief & Development support will enable the Center to expand its ministry to serve the increased number of displaced people seeking safety and assistance.
The Church of England’s Diocese in Europe plans to distribute emergency funds to churches in Greece, Italy, France and Hungary that are responding to the needs of displaced people for food, clothing, shelter materials and medical supplies. The Diocese is reportedly working with Orthodox churches in these areas as well, which expands the capacity to ensure needs are met.
Islamic Relief is active on the island of Lesvos, Greece, where Syrians fleeing the conflict arrive at the northern town of Molyvos, closest to Turkey, and travel to the southeastern town of Mitilini in order to take the ferry to the mainland. Arabic-speaking Islamic Relief staff, working with other organizations and local volunteers, are offering food and guidance to those arriving, including information about transportation options such as buses to save the 40-mile journey on foot.
Please continue to pray for all those fleeing violence and unrest. Contributions to the Syria Response Fund will help Syrians fleeing violence as the country’s civil war enters its fifth year.
For more updates and content from Episcopal Relief and Development, click here.