Thousands of shoeboxes also needed for vulnerable children
As thousands of refugees are pouring into Europe each day, Samaritan’s Purse has launched an urgent appeal so that they can provide vital life-saving food, shelter and spiritual support to families and children in the most vulnerable circumstances.
Samaritan’s Purse UK Executive Director Simon Barrington explains: “People are wet, cold and exposed. Infants are wrapped in plastic bags to protect them from the rain. Clothing is inadequate for the current temperature and the looming drop in temperature which will follow in the next few weeks. Soon it will not be possible for people to sleep outdoors as they will be at significant risk of hypothermia, particularly infants, young children and the elderly.”
Building on its existing work amongst Syrian refugees in Northern Iraq and the Middle East the charity has now deployed a multinational team of personnel in Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Greece to meet the immediate needs of the hundreds of thousands of refugees, many of whom are from Syria, who are rapidly streaming through Europe.
Speaking from the Northern Macedonian Border with Serbia team member Dr Nathalie MacDermott says: “Each day over the last few days approximately 5,000 – 7,000 people have been crossing the border. Back packs containing food, water, hygiene items and toys for children have been distributed in Macedonia and Serbia.
Together with local church partners Samaritan’s Purse will be distributing over 3,000 food packs to refugees in the Balkans in the coming days. 5,000 rain coats have also been purchased for distribution.
Alongside this vital aid the charity is also appealing for help to send thousands more Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to Syrian refugees currently camped in Northern Iraq, and to refugees now in Europe.
Simon Barrington concluded: “As well as providing urgent practical assistance right now to refugees whether they are in camps or on the move, we also want to put a smile on the faces of thousands of children who have fled with their families this Christmas through Operation Christmas Child. Although we can’t say that people’s specific boxes will go to refugees, all boxes received will go to children in great need and will bring Good News and Great Joy.
“Please pray for our teams and partners on the ground as they respond, and pray that we will get aid through quickly to those who need it most.
“We need your vital support to continue this work of providing food, water, hygiene items and toys to refugees on the move. Please give as generously as you can.”