Syrian refugees depend on MCC food

Jun 6, 2016 by and

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With the war in Syria entering its sixth year, it’s easy to get lost in the facts and figures: As many as 470,000 dead; 4.6 million refugees who have fled the country; 6.6 million displaced within it; 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Mousa, a Syrian refugee living in Lebanon, and his daughter, Rihan, receive food vouchers from Mennonite Central Committee and Canadian Foodgrains Bank. — John Longhurst for MWR

Mousa, a Syrian refugee living in Lebanon, and his daughter, Rihan, receive food vouchers from Mennonite Central Committee and Canadian Foodgrains Bank. — John Longhurst for MWR

The enormity of the need can overwhelm us. But what can help is putting a face on the crisis — meeting some of the people affected by the war and hearing their stories.

Syrian refugees are receiving assistance from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank through its member agencies, including Mennonite Central Committee. Through the Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 Canadian churches and church agencies working together to end hunger, member agencies have access to $25 million a year in matching funds from the government of Canada at an up-to-4:1 basis.

With this support from the Canadian government through the Foodgrains Bank, and in collaboration with its local partner, the Popular Aid for Relief and Development, MCC is giving food worth $1.9 million (Canadian) for 5,800 people.

The aid, provided in the form of vouchers worth up to $80 per month per family, not only provides much-needed supplementary food for people made homeless by the war but also gives them hope — and reminds them they are not forgotten.

Longhurst, a member of the MWR board of directors, visited Syrian refugees in Jordan and Leba­non in March. To see more of his stories and photos from Syria, subscribe to the digital edition of MWR.


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