It’s a heartbreaking issue that UNHCR are calling on Australians to get behind, support and contribute to its fundraising appeal to support thousands of refugees arriving in Europe from conflict-ridden countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. And Cate Blanchett has decided to make her stance on the issue loud and clear.
For the first time since World War Two, UNHCR is fully operational in Europe, supporting refugees fleeing armed conflict, who have survived the dangerous journey via the Mediterranean Sea. Since January, more than 360,000 refugees have risked their lives reaching Europe via the Mediterranean, with the majority from Syria, and a total of 80 per cent from conflict countries.
UNHCR is working with partners to boost post-rescue reception capacity, provide shelter and sleeping bags, food, water and medical care, and protection for vulnerable refugees such as unaccompanied children, women travelling alone with children, the elderly and refugees with disability.
Naomi Steer, National Director of Australia for UNHCR said that this is a major humanitarian emergency that goes to the heart of UNHCR’s work.
“I know that in the past few days, the tragic images of the refugee crisis in Europe have touched us all,” explains Naomi. “Though supporting this appeal, Australians can take positive, lifesaving action and support refugees who have arrived in Europe, as well as those seeking refuge in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Many of those Syrian refugees who have risked the dangerous journey to Europe, have done so out of fear of yet another year of food cuts, lack of livelihood support, and a fifth year in which their children cannot attend school. Our initial goal is to raise $2 million. Australians can donate to UNHCR’s Europe Appeal by phoning 1300 885 997 or through our website.”
Australia for UNHCR is an Australian charity, which fundraises to provide life-changing humanitarian support to refugees and other displaced and stateless people supported by UNHCR.