A dozen Syrian girls, ages 12 to 16, mainly refugees from the flattened city of Homs, sit in a semicircle. Their heads are covered. They are naturally reticent in dealing with a male foreigner. But they eventually warm up, talking about their escapes, their plans for school and Syrian pop stars.
The UN says more than 2 million refugees have left Syria. But while up to 70,000 refugees fled to Jordan in early 2013, the stream has dwindled to a trickle. Aid workers believe the Jordanian government has closed the border, but Jordan says it's due to Syrian fighting.
The political and diplomatic crisis in Syria have caught the world's attention. But the continuing conflict is also producing a humanitarian crisis: millions of refugees. And the world is only now becoming aware of the scale of the problem.
The Atlanta-based relief organization CARE is again trying to help. WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with CARE's president and CEO, Dr. Helene Gayle.
Leader of global humanitarian organization visits CARE's work, meets Jordan's Queen Rania and Prime Minister
AMMAN (Oct. 2, 2013) - CARE President and CEO Helene D. Gayle visited Jordan this week to see firsthand the poverty-fighting organization's work with Syrian refugees and meet senior national leaders and officials.
On December 15, a CARE team returned from an evaluation mission to South Masisi territory in the North Kivu Province of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ’” the first one to take place in the region by any humanitarian organization.
Starting in mid-November, the rural areas surrounding Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, had been inaccessible due to increased fighting. A CARE team of three visited several villages in south Masisi in a convoy organized by the World Food Programme as soon as the security situation allowed.
CARE has responded to drought and food insecurity in the Horn of Africa with aid to approximately 2.8 million people.
In the year since the United Nations declared a famine in parts of Somalia, much has been accomplished. Large-scale humanitarian interventions by CARE and other agencies have helped save many lives. But families still struggle to feed themselves, and remain highly vulnerable to future events such as poor harvests, conflict-related displacement or a rise in commodity prices. Many who survived the worst of the crisis have been left without the reserves to withstand further shocks.