The current refugee crisis -- as portrayed in the media -- is all about the thousands of refugees showing up in Europe, and now here in Canada. What has surprised me the most is the absolute vitriol showing up in social media from people opposed to settling the Syrian refugees -- many of them claiming to be Christians. On the other hand, these are a couple memes that I have appreciated.
Yesterday I spent the day with a group of Christian leaders who are deeply involved in refugee settlement and sponsorship processes, from across the country, talking about responses to the current environment. This was organized by the Refugee Highway Partnership, an ad-hoc working group of practitioners from around the world. We heard Christine MacMillan speak about her work with WEA as an advocate to the UN on refugee concerns and human trafficking. We heard from a refugee settlement worker in Malta, via skype. And we got a perspective on where the real crisis is -- and its not in Europe or Canada. Click here to see a map of where the greatest concentrations of refugees can be found. We also watched this video clip.
It seems quite obvious to me that one of the best things we can do in this crisis is help organizations working with the millions living in deplorable camp conditions, still in the Middle East, just waiting to return home. They don't want to migrate to Canada, but they do want to survive this winter. This is a clip from one of the organizations that I have consistently recommended over many years.
"I made this map to give people perspective on the Syrian refugees. The purple country is Turkey, they took in over 2,000,000 Syrian refugees and spent as estimated 4.5 billion USD, the green country is Jordan, They took in an estimated 1,400,000 Syrian refugees. Last but not least, That tiny red dot, that's Lebanon; Lebanon is the smallest country in continental Asia. Lebanon took in over 1,100,000 Syrian refugees. People want to ban Syrian refugees from Canada, saying 10,500,000 dollars is too much and 25,000 people is too much. We have a population of 35,160,000 people, in 2014-2015 we had a surplus of 1,900,000,000 dollars. Our government has yearly expenditures in the 270,000,000,000 range. Keep telling yourself we can't help. People are letting fear of ISIS try to stop us from helping people. In this world you can never be 100% safe, but the moment we stop looking after each other is the moment we give up on humanity. Let's continue to be a diverse country that accepts and helps people."