Saturday 20 January 2018

Emergency appeal by GOAL in bid to raise €200,000

Refugees and migrants board a passenger ship heading to the port of Piraeus, at the port of Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos
Refugees and migrants board a passenger ship heading to the port of Piraeus, at the port of Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos

Greg Harkin

The charity GOAL last night launched a disaster emergency appeal for Syria, saying that millions of people in the Middle East are facing their toughest winter yet.

As world attention continues to focus on the migration crisis affecting Europe, the charity warned that the conflict is getting worse and more people than ever need help in camps in southern Turkey.

GOAL spent €86m on helping Syrian refugees last year alone, many of them still inside the war-ridden country.

"The situation is getting worse rather than better," said GOAL communications director David Leach.

"We still have 150 Syrian staff working inside Syria as well as volunteers and staff in Turkey.

"Eleven million people have been displaced by the conflict with 2.4 million of them in Turkey.

"The winter isn't far away and our concern now is to raise as much money as possible to help people inside Syria and in the camps in Turkey to access fuel."

GOAL is hoping to raise €200,000 in their Disaster Emergency Appeal.

Trócaire is responding to the growing needs of refugees in who have made it to Europe and has allocated €50,000 so far to provide sleeping bags and raincoats, hygiene kits, health services and psychosocial support.

Migrants' rights groups say the public response to the crisis continues to be ahead of the Government.

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland director Edel McGinley praised the generosity of people here in offering their homes and money to help refugees.

"But at a state level, only Germany and Sweden have stepped up. Ireland must now stand with them," she said.

"We need to do more in offering to relocate and resettle more refugees. Right now, the Irish public is ahead of politicians."

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said another 1,600 people were rescued at sea on Thursday alone.

"The Irish Government must ensure that the needs of affected people fleeing conflict and persecution are put front and centre of policy decisions made at an EU level," said Jane-Ann McKenna MSF Ireland director.

"Everyday our medical and emergency teams are witnessing the direct consequences of a failed asylum system and migration policy across Europe; the thousands who have drowned or suffocated in wooden boats crossing the Mediterranean, the inhumane reception facilities in Greece, the extreme coercive measures that are being used to prevent people crossing borders."

People can donate to GOAL's work online at or Phone 01 2809779...text Goal4 to donate €4 to 50300

You can donate to the work of Médecins Sans Frontières who are working in origin countries like Syria here:

Irish Independent

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