The Huffington Post | By Eleanor Goldberg
The death toll figures are staggering and the tales of torture are chilling. Still, it remains challenging to fully grasp the enormity of Syria’s civil war just by reading about it from thousands of miles away.
That’s why If We Were Syrian has created stunning visuals to depict what this terrifying conflict would look like in your country.
As of April, the crisis has claimed more than 150,000 lives. More than 9 million people have been displaced from their homes. Polio has resurged and doctors have resorted to cutting off limbs to stop patients from bleeding to death.
So, how would this crisis, that is now dragging into its fourth year, play out in your country?
In America, it would mean everyone in Syracuse, N.Y., would be dead. Everyone in New York City, all 8.3 million residents, would have fled.
If a crisis of the same scope were to hit England, the entire population of Reading would have been killed and everyone living in London would have evacuated.
The group hopes that by putting these devastating figures into a relatable context, donors and activists will be more likely to get involved in supporting the victims in need.
"If we could imagine the crisis in our own country, we might support the people of Syria with greater resolve," the campaign's site says.
The initiative comes at a time when Syria is particularly desperate for humanitarian aid.
Back in April, the U.N. stated that the embattled country’s aid needs have been mostly ignored .
The U.N. appealed last year for $6.5 billion in emergency funding for 2014, and only $1.2 billion was pledged.
"That appeal has gone largely unanswered," UNICEF said in a press release. "The war escalates in many areas. The humanitarian situation deteriorates day after day. And for the civilians remaining in the cities of Aleppo and the Old City of Homs, as well as other parts of the country experiencing heavy fighting, the worst days seem yet to come."
Find out how you can get involved with If We Were Syrian here and how you can support the humanitarian agencies working to bring life-saving supplies and treatment to Syria’s war victims below.
Mercy Corps has been working in Syria since 2008. Now, with the escalating humanitarian crisis, the organization is responding to the needs of refugees in camps in Lebanon and Jordan by increasing access to clean water and providing psychological support for children. Learn more here.
International Red Cross
The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are working together to feed the millions of Syrian refugees, provide medical care to those in need and war-surgery training to doctors treating casualties in neighboring Lebanon. Learn more here.
Save the Children
In response to the humanitarian crisis and plummeting temperatures, Save the Children is providing children with warm blankets, clothes, shoes and winter-aid packages for infants. Learn more here.
War Child, a U.K.-based charity dedicated to helping children affected by conflict, has been working in Lebanon creating six "safe spaces" in schools which provide art and music therapy for affected children, and has helped 400 youngsters enroll in school. Learn more here.
Source: Huffington Post