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Refugees looking at Turkey
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Refugees stranded at the Greek-Turkish land border and blocked by a hastily built wall have become the symbol of a crisis that has deeply shaken relations between Greece and Turkey. Athens has repeatedly denounced what it calls Turkey’s “unacceptable” behavior, and lack of cooperation in the face of the massive migrant flows toward Europe.

Based on the EU-Turkey deal of 2016, Greece, which is part of Europe, sends incoming irregular migrants to Turkey instead. In exchange, Turkey will receive €6 billion in aid from the EU for its migrant communities. Moreover, Turkey has increased its measures to prevent illegal migration. It’s clear as day that this agreement is a political strategy that benefits EU countries; however, it compromises refugees’ rights, hence, the backlash. Despite the criticisms, it still moved forward. 

The Reopening of Borders

Since the agreement between the EU and Turkey, the latter tried its best to prevent the influx of illegal migrations. However, over the years, there have been accusations that the promised funding to support the millions of refugees in Turkey wasn’t given. 

Turkey’s President Erdogan announced the opening of the Greek-Turkish border. Following the announcement, hundreds of refugees rushed towards the border to gain access to the EU.

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A Political Move

Turkey’s move to open the borders may be its way to pressure the EU to cooperate. Unfortunately, it was at the expense of migrants, where they were pushed back violently by the Greek border security. 

Greece is NOT the Gateway to Europe

The Greek Migration Minister, Notis Mitarakis, responded to the influx of immigrants to the border by introducing migration legislation to accelerate deportations. There were concerning clauses on the country’s new stance on migration that is being heavily scrutinized globally. 

Due to the new law, the border is loaded with the military, migrants are detained in poor conditions, and the grace period for voluntary deportations has been drastically shortened from 30 days to a week. Furthermore, the border police were given the right to deport migrants under the jurisdiction of migrant authorities. 

Despite the international criticisms, Mitarakis remains firm in his stance and reiterates that Greece will not be the gateway to Europe. 

A Dangerous Migratory Loop

The EU has sparked tension between Turkey and Greece while putting the lives of immigrants at risk. Moreover, the EU has failed to maintain the conditions in their deal with Turkey that have put so many human lives at risk. Aside from this, Greece will have to face severe backlash due to its migration policy. There are also questions about the funding it received from the EU and its use. 

Moving Forward

Indeed, the EU has manufactured a crisis between Greece and Turkey that could have been prevented. After all, the EU-Turkey agreement was only meant to be a temporary solution, yet it’s no excuse for the current human rights violations. 

Member states, EU institutions, and Turkey should work on a compromise to prioritize the rights of the refugees and build an asylum system that works. 

A Growing Divide

Crisis makes strange bedfellows, and the refugee crisis has made an awkward tension between Greece and Turkey. Though they’re both geographically part of Europe and their languages are mutually intelligible, their cultural ties to the West and Asia, respectively, leave them on opposite sides of this growing divide. For Greece, it’s not necessarily a question of escaping the rising tide of refugees but whether to continue holding up one half of a bridge to Western Europe.

Are you wondering how to help Syrian refugees? UOSSM is a nonprofit, 501 charitable, non-government, medical humanitarian organization. Donate now.

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woman volunteering helping a Syrian refugee
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The Many Ways You Can Help Syrian Refugees Now

The International Rescue Committee provides humanitarian aid to Syrians by supporting local aid workers to help them get food, jobs, and education. In the United States, you can volunteer at a local resettlement office to provide support to those resettling. Other than that, you can also lend a hand to Syrian refugees in more than two ways.

Here are some of the things you can do to help them:

  1. Donate to the International Red Cross

 

An estimated two million people in Syria need safe water and hygiene items. To help them, you can donate to the International Red Cross, which will be using the donations to provide hygiene items such as baby diapers, sanitary pads, and soap to those in need. 

There are also urgent needs in the refugee camps; you can donate money to the United Nations’ refugee agency to help them provide essential items such as blankets and clothes.

  1. Donate to the Syrian Children’s Relief Fund

The Syrian Children’s Relief Fund provides medical supplies and treatments to Syrian children, and you can donate to them to aid them in their cause. For every $15 donation, you will be given a chance to win a prize.

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3. Organize Fundraisers and Personal Campaigns

Hosting fundraising events is a reasonably good way to contribute to the cause. You can ask your family and friends for donations, and you can also organize a raffle or a silent auction. You can even arrange a bake sale for this cause—the money you get from the proceeds of the sale will be donated to Syrian refugees.

Organize a media campaign by spreading awareness through the use of social media. While you can help refugees through the Internet, you can also help them by simply spreading awareness.

  1. Help with Legal Support

Syrian refugees cannot leave the refugee camps unless they have someone to sponsor them. If you have family or friends who are willing to support them, you can help by providing legal advice on how to go about it.

  1. Support the Resettlement of Syrian Refugees

Since finding homes for Syrian refugees is the hardest part, you can help by showing support for those willing to resettle the refugees in their own homes. You can also attend their community meetings or join potlucks.

According to an article by the New York Times, a community in Denver is willing to resettle 90 Syrians in its own homes. If you are eager to do so, you can help by providing sponsorships, donations, or even by going to community events.

  1. Support Doctors and Medical Needs

The health system has collapsed in Syria, and the doctors willing to stay there are suffering from bombings and attacks. You can help by providing doctors with emergency kits and medical supplies or sending them money to help with their operating costs.

Conclusion

The Syrian refugee crisis is one of the biggest tragedies in recent memory. It is a humanitarian disaster beyond our imagination, and more than anything, it is a problem that requires our full attention.

There are plenty of ways you can help out those in need, and we are glad to be in the position to enlighten you on the things you can do to help the Syrian refugees out.

Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations-USA (UOSSM USA) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable, independent, non-government, medical humanitarian organization incorporated in Texas. We provide life-saving medical humanitarian relief and access to quality healthcare and mental health services to people most in need and communities affected by crises, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion, or political affiliation. If you want to know more about how to help Syrian refugees, get in touch with us! We can help you get your support across to them.

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Syrians Fleeing to Europe
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There’s nothing worse than being forced to leave the country you were born and have grown up in. Unfortunately, individuals living in countries like Syria have no choice but to leave the life they know to start a new one in a foreign land. With the war in Syria seemingly having no end, locals have had no choice but to flee their beloved country to save their families from violence and bloodshed. 

The Syrian refugee crisis continues to be the largest refugee and displacement crisis today since the Syrian civil war began in March 2011. Eleven years later, the country has been torn apart, and its people have scattered across the globe, seeking asylum in different places such as Europe.

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Fleeing From Syria to Europe

With the Syrian crisis nearing its twelfth year in a few months, millions of Syrians continue to suffer from the damaging impact of the civil war in the country. Fortunately, even amidst the war, there is hope—countries worldwide have opened their doors to millions of people needing humanitarian assistance and refuge from the constant violence in their homeland.

The European Union, in particular, has welcomed a large number of Syrian refugees over the years, nearing 200,000 asylum applications from July 2014 to July 2015. With the treacherous routes, several reported deaths during travel, and the horrible stories in refugee camps, why is it that countless Syrian refugees continue to flee to Europe despite the high risks of death?

Here are some of the primary reasons why millions of Syrians have chosen to migrate to Europe from their homeland:

  • The Syrian War Is Still Ongoing

People continue to flee because the war doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon. After a decade of destruction and death, Syrians can no longer wait for their country to regain peace and for things to revert to how things used to be before the war. Unfortunately, Syria is in a state of collapse—it’s only a matter of time before more homes and families are devastated by the damaging impacts of the violence happening in the country. 

  • Refugee Life in Neighboring Countries Isn’t Practical

Although Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and other neighboring countries offer places of safety for Syrians hoping to flee their country, living it isn’t entirely different from staying in Syria. 

Since few refugees can pay rent in the tiniest rooms because they’re forbidden from joining the workforce, they could live in poverty and die of hunger. Unlike in their neighboring countries, Europe offers several income-earning opportunities for refugees, giving them hope of starting a better life.

  • The Media Shows an Image of a Welcoming Europe

Amidst the war going on in Syria, people can still watch the news and access social media. The news stories and anecdotes circulating on the television and the Internet about refugees being greeted with open arms by Europeans and the promise of work prospects, safety, and education were enough to convince Syrians that it would be worth the travel and the money needed to get to Europe.

Conclusion

Life as a refugee is challenging, no matter which country you end up seeking asylum in. Unfortunately, there is no single solution to the Syrian refugee crisis that is now more than a decade long. However, this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to help. 

Even in the comfort of your own home, you can alleviate the suffering of one Syrian family by reaching out and donating to the proper organization. As long as more people work together in helping refugees, we can improve the lives of more families!

Have you been wondering how to help Syrian refugees? Then, cooperate with us at the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations-USA (UOSSM USA)! Our non-profit, medical humanitarian organization has led the way by taking new initiatives to find constantly evolving solutions for the growing health problems in Syria. Donate today!

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Civil War In Syria
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Civil War In SyriaIf you are not already aware, there is a refugee crisis because of the civil war in Syria. It may sometimes be challenging to think that other countries are at war, especially if we have never witnessed events like these for ourselves. Before anything else, we have to be thankful that no such conflict is happening where we live.

Wars affect millions of people, making it impossible for them to live normal and healthy lives. This blog post will help you gain a better understanding of Syria’s civil war, how it started, and how you can help.

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What You Need to Know about the Civil War in Syria

The Syrian civil war has been a threat to the country and its surrounding neighbors. The sad truth is that there does not seem to be any sign that the war will be ending soon. Here are some of the most pressing questions you may want to be answered about the civil war in Syria.

Why is there a war?

This war started as what was initially thought to be a peaceful, non-violent protest in 2011. However, it quickly escalated into full-blown warfare. What began as a simple demonstration has now evolved into a chaotic war between a terrorist organization, the government and encompasses several different countries.

What triggered the conflict?

The most significant trigger of the event is the Arab Spring. This event involved a series of economic and social protests in Egypt and Tunisia. These protests are what sparked the idea for the rally in Syria in 2011. In March of the same year, 15 schoolchildren were arrested and tortured because of vandalism about the Arab Spring. All hell broke loose after that. 

Several Problems Plaguing Syria

A myriad of different problems is present that not only triggered the original crisis but made it increasingly impossible for the conflict to end. The people were dissatisfied with the government at the time, and there was a rising amount of religious tension within the country, which led to what was supposed to be a peaceful protest that led to all this. 

The bad news is that the rebels and some terrorist organizations have now waged war on each other, using the Syrian civil war as an excuse to start fighting. This factor is one of the most complex and complicated parts of the conflict.

The Need for Humanitarian Assistance is Rising

At the time of this writing, over 13 million Syrians require humanitarian assistance. Millions of people live in hard-to-reach areas, making it more and more difficult for the food and medicine to reach them. However, humanitarian efforts do not plan on giving up any time soon. 

Conclusion

The truth is that the outlook is looking grimmer and grimmer by the day. Neither the Syrian government nor the rebels show any signs of relenting or giving up. This area will likely see more chaos and terror before anything gets better. However, the good news is that if you want to help give the people affected by this conflict, you can! There are many ways to give donations or get involved in humanitarian efforts to make the situation better. No matter how little the amount of action may seem to you, it may mean a world of difference for those who are stuck in the middle of the war and fearing for their lives.

If you are ready to see how you can help the people who are unfortunately caught in the crosshairs, working with UOSSM is the way to go. Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations-USA (UOSSM USA) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable, independent, non-government, medical humanitarian organization, incorporated in the state of Texas. Donate to the Syrian Relief Fund and see how else you can help today!

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helping Syrian Refugees (1)
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In 2011, many Syrians fled their country because of conflict and violence. Ten years later, and the situation has scarcely improved. Right now, more than 140,000 people have been affected by the violence in Syria. Families and children were forced to run away from their homes while those unable to flee still suffer. 

helping Syrian Refugees (1)

What is worse is that they are also devastated by strong winds, torrential rains, and floods. As the cold months come, the area is facing a deadly food shortage as well. 

The Crisis in Syria and Why You Need to Help

The world has suffered enough in recent years, and knowing that people in Syria are still suffering from war makes things worse. 

Sadly, children are the biggest victims of the situation. Millions of Syrian children got separated from their families without access to safety, food, education, and care. Not all understand what is happening, and many have lost hope for their unclear future.

In tough times like this, every little bit helps. This situation might seem like an enormous burden for one person, but with everyone’s efforts combined, they can make a difference and give hope to these people, even just for a day. 

Fortunately, non-government organizations are working hard to reach out to Syrian refugees and provide them with what they need, but they cannot do this task independently. They need the support of the people.

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Ways You Can Help Syrian Refugees

If you want to help, you do not need to fly and visit the refugees physically. There are many ways you can send some love and support to the Syrian refugees. Here are some ideas you can explore:

Send Out Food or Water

Food is a crucial concern in the current Syria crisis. Sending them packed food, vitamins, and clean water can significantly improve their lives. You would have to find organizations that have direct connections in Syria that are capable of sending food. 

Emergency Situation Fund

Besides food, your monetary donations can also be used to prepare the volunteer teams for emergencies. Airstrikes have become commonplace in the country, leaving no safe place for the victims. Donating to organizations can help volunteers and leaders provide a safe place through makeshift tents, medical treatment, and supplies.

Fund Their Education

In times of war, the only distraction the children can rely on is education. It is also the only gift they can use to move forward with their lives. Your donation can help provide them with learning materials and other things they need to make their education possible. 

Sponsor a Child

If your budget and living situation permits, there is also an opportunity for you to adopt or sponsor a child. Many of them lost their families and are badly in need of love, kindness, and affection. Do note that adopting a Syrian child refugee requires a thorough process, so it is best to prepare every document and requirement accordingly. 

Conclusion 

The world suffers from a lot of crises. If you have the means to make a person’s day a lot better in your little ways, take the chance to do so. If you have long to send some love and help to your brothers and sisters in Syria, know that help does not always need to be grand. Even a small amount can make a difference in one’s life. Take that opportunity and give them another chance in life. 

If you consider adopting a Syrian refugee or a refugee family, you can coordinate with us at UOSSM. We are an international humanitarian medical, non-government organization founded in 2012 by Syrian expatriate doctors from different countries in response to the Syrian crisis. See our programs and other ways you can help by browsing through our site. You may contact us at connect@uossm.us or (972) 200-3572 if you have more questions.

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Doctors Warn of Intensifying Airstrikes on Syrian Hospitals
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Washington, DC- Ahead of the Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, Syrian doctors have released a new report documenting a major increase in airstrikes on Syrian hospitals and medical facilities in opposition-held areas. The study, issued by the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations, examines the conditions of 107 hospitals in northern and southern Syria and reveals that all were hit by airstrikes at least once in 2016 – some as many as 25 times.

“Our report is the most comprehensive of its kind – and its results are shocking,” Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Chairman of UOSSM-Canada said. “We have long suspected Syrian hospitals were deliberate targets of airstrikes – our report confirms this. There is now overwhelming evidence that the targeting of Syrian hospitals is not accidental, but is in fact a deliberate military strategy.  There can no longer be any question:  the parties that control Syria’s skies are deliberately attacking Syria’s medical facilities. Since Article 14 of the Fourth Geneva Convention explicitly names hospitals as protected zones, the  289 attacks on the Syrian Hospitals are war crimes, and the UN is mandated to take actions to stop these attacks now.”
Following the release of the UOSSM report, Syrian doctors are calling on leaders gathering in Brussels to protect Syrian hospitals from indiscriminate airstrikes and to take further measures to ensure sustainable medical access to hard-to-reach and besieged communities. Dr. Tawfik Chamaa, President UOSSM-Suisse said, “As the international community prepares to gather in Brussels, we call on the European Union and it’s members to take urgent action to protect Syria’s medical facilities. If a meaningful political solution is to be achieved, then the flagrant attacks on Syria’s hospitals – like those which occurred throughout this past week – must end, and a serious ceasefire must be established. This requires impartial monitoring by the United Nations and credible enforcement – otherwise indiscriminate attacks will continue.”
Dr. Chamaa added, “While hosting our annual conference in Geneva and as we prepared to release our report, a hospital was hit by three airstrikes and rendered inoperable in Kafr Nabel, Idlib. In Hama on March 25, chemical weapons were dropped from a helicopter, killing a dedicated surgeon while he operated on a patient. These attacks are a stain on all humanity and a shameful reminder of the international community’s inaction to protect Syrian medical facilities.”

Key findings of the Syrian Hospitals Surveillance Report:

  • All 107 hospitals examined in Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hammah, Daraa, Quneitra, and Homs were hit at least once by a direct or indirect airstrikes. Some hospitals were struck as many as 25 times. The average hospital was attacked three times.
  • Three-quarters of the hospitals surveyed were located in buildings not designed to house medical facilities and were in fact makeshift hospitals, ill-equipped to provide the needed medical care.
  • More than half of all hospitals’ staff had no training to prepare for or respond to airstrikes, or to document airstrikes; and one third of hospital staff had no experience in occupational safety or risk management.
  • There is an alarming scarcity of medical specialties like vascular surgery, neurosurgery, and plastic surgery, and the relevant equipment needed.
  • As a result of this data, UOSSM for the first time concludes that new measures are urgently needed to protect hospitals and medical workers from aerial attacks.

The full report can be found   here.

Note to Editors: UOSSM’s report was made possible thanks to the many Syrian medical directorates and organizations active on the ground to save lives. 

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