No COVID-19 Cases In Camp Rukban.

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Ten miles away from an American military base in Syria is Camp Rukban. Here 8,000 refugees are starving and isolated from the outside world.  The only good news amidst this horrible situation is the zero cases of COVID- 19 in the camp.

 

Camp Rukban used to be home to over 30,000 people, who fled there from all parts of Syria. Thousands of refugees have since returned to their wartorn homes –where they face detention, torture, or execution. Surviving off of smuggled bits of food, the remaining refugees are begging the outside world for help. But they have received very little aid. Despite this, the Jordanian government has continued to admit more refugees to Rukban, without increasing food or aid.  Doing this means there is a high risk of COVID-19 spreading in the camp. These refugees are in desperate need of assistance.   The pandemic has spared them so far— but because of the dire situation and the influx of refugees, their luck may soon run out.

The American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East assists Syrian refugees in Kurdistan, Jordan, and other countries where they have fled.  It also works with the Syrian Orthodox Church in Amman to assist Syrian Orthodox Christian refugees from Iraq. The organization and its partners assist these individuals by providing life-saving humanitarian assistance, to help them overcome horrific circumstances and obtain a better life. These resources are made possible by the generous donations of faithful donors.

American FRRME is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation, provides relief efforts, advances human rights, and seeks an end to sectarian violence in the Middle East.

To make a donation to American FRRME, please visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/frrmeamerica?code=WebsiteGeneral

COVID-19 Aids ISIS

COVID-19 has created suffering across the world but has helped one group. The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has used the virus to its advantage as it seeks to increase its hold in the Middle East.

 

Christians in the Middle East have faced decades of persecution.  Recently, ISIS has been their main persecutor, with its attempts to annihilate the Christian and Yazidis communities. ISIS moved rapidly a half-decade ago, taking town after town.  Gains have been made against ISIS in the last few years. However, COVID-19 has now forced security forces to turn their attention to battling the virus and imposing curfews, which has helped ISIS.

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For example, recent reports show the terrorist group has used the COVID-19 pandemic to its advantage by tripling their attacks in the area of Kirkuk, Iraq.

Iraqi Christians are already in a difficult situation.  The recent increase of ISIS activity, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, has increased this hardship.

Nineveh SEED (Sustainable Enterprise Economic Development) is an initiative designed to help Iraqi Christians whose homes and businesses were destroyed by ISIS get back on their feet.  Nineveh SEED revitalizes villages in the Nineveh Plain in northern Iraq by creating jobs.  It is funded by the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East and made possible by your generous donations.

American FRRME is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation, provides relief efforts, advances human rights, and seeks an end to sectarian violence in the Middle East.

To make a donation to American FRRME, please visit

https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/frrmeamerica?code=WebsiteGeneral

Update on COVID-19 in Jordan

The country of Jordan has taken immediate action concerning COVID-19. It has responded to this crisis by having all its borders closed including airports, ports, and ground crossing gates, the exceptions being cargo flights and transport.  Jordan has had complete closure of all educational institutions and a ban on gatherings. A mandatory curfew has been set from 6 pm to 10 am, which has been enforced strictly. The reported rates of COVID-19 are lower than the neighboring countries due to these restrictions.

 

Jordan has outstanding medical professional capabilities for the Middle Eastern region.  It has 16,000 inpatient hospital beds, and 1600 respirators. The Jordanian healthcare system did face a shortage of testing kits for those who suspected they might have COVID-19 but was fortunate to receive 100,000 donated testing kits. This increased the country’s testing capacity. Jordan has recorded that more than 180,000 tests were used.

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Testing did take place in refugees’ camps, such as the Zaatari and Azraq camps. These camps very rarely have running water and bare health care necessities to ensure proper hygiene. Hygiene kits have been provided to refugees at this time which has helped slow down the spread of COVID-19.

The currently confirmed case number in Jordan is 746 confirmed cases, 535 confirmed recoveries, and 9 confirmed deaths.

Currently, restrictions are being gradually lifted for the betterment of the society and economy.

The American Foundation for Relief & Reconciliation in the Middle East has provided life-saving hygiene articles to persecuted Christians and other religious refugees at this desperate time, due to your generous donations. Please donate to help us continue providing care to these refugees.

American FRRME is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation, provides relief efforts, advances human rights, and seeks an end to sectarian violence in the Middle East.

To make a donation to American FRRME, please visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/frrmeamerica?code=WebsiteGeneral

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Middle East

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Coronavirus has devastated China, caused havoc in Italy, and shut down the U.S. and most of the Western World.  But few countries are as vulnerable to this global bug as those of the Middle East. The virus arrived in Iran in late February.  By March, despite spreading into other countries, the case number remained low. Now, like the rest of the world, the Middle East suffers from thousands of new cases a day.  And in this region, the effort to stop COVID19’s spread is impacted by civil wars, unstable governments, and refugees who have nowhere to go.

As of April 30, 2020, there are 73,993 confirmed cases in the Middle East. While Turkey is the hotspot for the virus in the region, the situation in Syria is especially alarming. Syria has millions of refugees and refugee camps that make social distancing impossible.  People and families are being told there is no way to test for the virus.  And to complicate an already challenging situation, far-right militants in Turkey have cut off the water supply for 460,000 people.

Due to the pandemic, the region’s economy is suffering greatly. With the borders closed, countries such as Egypt that rely heavily on tourist revenue are troubled. Sinking oil prices are another great economic burden, since it is the main export for some of the countries in this region.

COVID-19 has affected everyone, but persecuted Christians and other refugees are among those most affected. With borders closed, some refugee boats are currently stranded at sea, waiting for a country to let them in. Refugees in camps are also greatly impacted. As in Syria, millions of persecuted Christians and other religious refugees across the Middle East are without necessities right now. Moreover, and cause for further alarm, it has been reported that refugee camps lack even the most basic hygiene necessities, such as running water and soap.

In the West, being without these basic necessities, even in a pandemic, is very rare. Sadly, that is not the case for much of the Middle East. In places like Syria, Jordan, and Iran, being without soap, water, and toilet paper is the norm.  Your donation will help The American Foundation for Relief & Reconciliation in the Middle East provide life-saving hygiene articles to persecuted Christians and other religious refugees at this desperate time.

American FRRME is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation, provides relief efforts, advances human rights, and seeks an end to sectarian violence in the Middle East.

To make a donation to American FRRME, please visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/frrmeamerica?code=WebsiteGeneral