Do you follow @intlfamilylinks (Restoring Family Links’ account) on Twitter? See an interesting article but just don’t have the time to read it? “This Week in RFL News” is a weekly blog segment that highlights and summarizes some of the news items posted by RFL’s twitter.
Europe's refugee crisis: This week was another substantial week for Syrian refugees. The crisis has gotten more attention throughout the past few weeks, due to boat tragedies in the Mediterranean sea, chaotic European train stations with Syrians scrambling to find refuge in Northern EU nations, and refugees running for their lives in order to avoid holding camp areas in nations like Hungary, Serbia, and Macedonia. This week, while Hungarian news reporters documented Syrian refugees escaping from a holding camp, a camerawoman was captured on video tripping, kicking, and hitting refugees while they ran away in fear (shown in the video below.) The camerawoman, a part of N1TV, a popular right-wing news network, was fired from her position and is being investigated for a public nuisance offense.
What's perhaps more eye-opening about this week is the immense response from the international community, not only from humanitarian organizations, but from the world's most powerful nations.
USA: Right here at home, the Obama Administration has just announced its plans to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States. This plan will hopefully take place within the next year.
UK: The UK announced that it will allocate more funds from its international budget to assist migrants and refugees. More on the UK's plan can be found here.
Germany: This week, Germany pledged $3.35 billion to help refugees wanting to resettle, and the money is planned to help speed up asylum procedures and construct more shelters.
Since tensions began in the Middle East years ago, the ICRC along with Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world have been working diligently to help those in need. The ICRC has worked closely with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), the Lebanese Red Cross and Jordan National Red Cross Society to provide assistance to millions. In Syria, during the first six months of this year alone, the ICRC and SARC provided food to 4.7 million people, clean water for 16 million, health care for 32,000 displaced persons, hygiene kits to 800,000, and educational materials to over 19,000 children displaced by the conflict. Also, the ICRC received 1,000 tracing requests from people seeking to locate their relatives. In Europe, the Austrian Red Cross supported 15,000 people this weekend alone who had crossed over the border from Hungary on foot and by train and bus. The Hungarian, Macedonian, German, Serbian, and Swedish Red Cross Societies are also actively responding to the crisis by providing food, water, and hygiene to hundreds of thousands arriving from Syria.
To learn more about what the Red Cross is doing to help migrants and refugees in Europe, click here.
If you or someone you know has lost contact with loved ones due to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Red Cross may be able to help. Click here to start your search today.