Christian World Service (CWS) is inviting Anglican communities to keep refugees’ needs in their hearts and prayers this 5 July for Refugee Sunday, and to support their partners working with some of the world’s most vulnerable refugee families.
Despite the falling media reports of people forced across borders to find safety from conflicts around the world, the number of refugees and internally displaced people has continued to rise in 2019-2020.
Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, the United Nations announced that a staggering 79.5 million (one in 97 people) are now displaced, up from 70.8 million the year before.
The UN recorded 29.6 million refugees in its 2019 figures, and two-thirds of them are people who have crossed borders to escape violence and persecution in Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.
“With no resolution in sight, these conflict zones are likely to push more people from their homes, increasing levels of trauma and suffering." said CWS National Director Pauline McKay today. “Covid-19 has not stopped conflict and is now an added risk people face.”
At the same time, 80% of the countries hosting displaced people are facing acute food insecurity, malnutrition, climate-change induced natural disaster risks.
“These figures send a clear signal to the international community to focus on peace talks and reducing military spending, as the world cannot afford the costs of providing refuge or resettlement for so many people.” she said.
CWS partners are doing everything they can to protect displaced people from Covid-19, hunger and danger.
They are providing personal protective equipment, emergency food supplies and advice on Covid-19 for displaced families in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Nicaragua and South Sudan.
To help parishes and ministry units focus on the needs of refugees this Sunday, CWS has prepared resource material that features the story of Osama, a Palestinian refugee from Syria who shares his passion for music with young students displaced in Lebanon.
“It is understandable that New Zealand cannot resettle refugees when our borders are closed. However, we need to increase our financial commitment to other agencies doing all they can to keep them safe from harm,” said Pauline.
To support partners caring for refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, CWS is raising funds through Operation Refugee with optional walking and food-related challenges.
To donate directly to CWS to support refugees, go to Donate Now and choose Operation Refugee in the designation box.
Or you can donate via direct deposit to
Christian World Service, A/C no.06 0817 0318646 00
Or by phone: 0800 74 73 72 during office hours for phone credit card donations.
Note: All donations to CWS of $5.00 or more are tax deductible – email your postal details to firstname.lastname@example.org for a tax receipt.