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Countries Sending Aid To Syrian Refugees

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Syrian refugee centre at Turkish border. Image: Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell
Syrian refugee centre at Turkish border. Image: Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell

Many countries around the world are sending aid to the people of Syria. They are also trying to figure out how to help many Syrians leave the country and how to help them live in other countries.

Syria is a country in western Asia. It is currently undergoing a civil war, sparked in 2011, by living conditions and poverty there. On one side are the pro-government forces, and on the other side are people who are opposed to the Syrian government.

Because of the war, at least a third (and as many as half) of Syrians have left their homes. There are 2.1 million registered “refugees,” according to the Canadian Council for Refugees, and millions more who are not yet registered. A refugee, in this case, is someone who has left their home country and wishes to live in another country where it will be safer for them.

Most of the people who have left the country have moved to the five countries closest to Syria: Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

Other countries around the world are trying to figure out how they can help the Syrian refugees. Most countries have a limit on the number of refugees they will accept into their country.

Canada has taken in about 1,000 Syrian refugees so far this year and has announced the country will take in 10,000 Syrians over the next three years. Germany has announced that it will take up to 500,000 Syrian refugees per year, according to CBC News.

Countries are also sending food, clothing, water and medicine to the displaced people in Syria. Canada recently set up a “relief fund” for Syrians and said they will match the money donated by Canadians, up to $100 million. In other words, when Canadians donate to a charity to help Syrian refugees, the Canadian government will also donate an equal amount of money.

Since January 2012, Canada has donated more than $503 million to help displaced Syrian people.

Related links
In September, The Canadian Council for Refugees and 13 other organizations made a number of recommendations about the resettlement of refugees. You can read those recommendations here.

This BBC article (which may be too challenging for young children) outlines some of the history of the Syrian conflict.

This CBC News article outlines Canada’s announcement about the emergency relief fund.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Today’s article explains that “Most countries have a limit on the number of refugees they will accept into their country.” Why do you think many countries choose to limit the number of refugees they will accept? Do you think countries should limit the number of refugees they take in? Why or why not?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
Being able to summarize the things you read is an easy way to make sure you understand (comprehend) a text. Try to summarize today’s article in three sentences. Then, try to summarize it in two sentences. Finally, see if you can summarize the entire article in one sentence.

Junior
Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Intermediate
Demonstrate understanding of increas- ingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Language Feature: Comma (Additional Information)
Commas are punctuation marks that can be used in several different ways. One way is to provide the reader with “additional information.” Let’s look at the sentence below to see these commas in action.

Germany has announced that it will take up to 500,000 Syrian refugees per year, according to CBC News.

As you can see, a comma is used in this sentence in order to separate the main idea of the sentence from the additional information, “according to CBC News.”

Add your own additional information to the following sentences.

  1. The children decided to play basketball, __________________________________.
  2. The trucks raced along the track, _______________________________________.
  3. Everyone enjoyed the movie, __________________________________________.
  4. Our baseball team won the championship, _________________________________.