More than three million people have left Syria because life is too bad, creating a huge humanitarian crisis, Tearfund has warned.
According to the latest UN reports, the number of people leaving the country to seek refuge reached three million in August, with more than six million made homeless and 200,000 people killed as a result of the conflict.
Many of the refugees are living in neighbouring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan, relying on aid agencies to help out where the country of refuge cannot afford to do so.
The conflict, which began in 2011, has been exacerbated by the advance of Islamic State into Syria, as well as by a wave of British nationals leaving the UK to go and fight alongside rebels or ISIS in the country.
One seven-year-old boy, Rafi, saw his little brother die in Syria, his mother told Tearfund. She said, ‘He hasn’t been happy with himself since. He has nightmares and tells me that he is scared during the day’. The family are living in Lebanon, along with hundreds of thousands of others, including Christians who have fled Syria.
Now that violence and persecution has forced more than a million people in neighbouring northern Iraq to flee their homes, Tearfund is beginning new aid projects.
For example, in the Kurdish region of Iraq, it will serve people who have had to flee from executions, sex slave markets and forced conversion. Oenone Chadburn, head of humanitarian support for Tearfund, said, ‘I heard story after story of Syrian people who had suffered so much loss, but they continued to look to a time of peace and hope.
‘Many of us have been praying for years for these conflicts to end, and we might start to lose hope. But the Syrians I’ve met don’t have that luxury. For the sake of their children’s futures, they need us to keep praying and supporting them as much as we can’.
Picture: Syrian refugee camp at Za’atri, Jordan