AUSTRALIAN Red Cross has been heartened by the outpouring of concern for the plight of hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking safety in Europe from war, violence and persecution and says all of us have a capacity to do more to help.
‘We’re calling on all Australians and governments to do as much as possible to address this critical humanitarian need and ensure people seeking protection have a safe place to go,’ says Australian Red Cross’ Director of Services and International Operations Michael Raper.
‘This is not just a European issue, it’s a global crisis with many countries adjoining areas of conflict carrying the heaviest burdens. Those of us who can help, have an opportunity to do so.’
We know the heartbreaking stories of desperation coming out of Europe in recent days have deeply affected many people who are looking for tangible ways to help.
There are a number of things that can be done:
·Support the Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal – donations provide support such as food parcels, hygiene kits, community health and clean water to millions of people in Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries.
·Read up on how the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is helping on the ground in Europe and donate to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s work in South-East Europe.
·Donate to help Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Crisis in Australia who are facing hardship and poverty.
Be informed: hear the stories of refugees who fled to Australia and read the 13 things you should know. There are many myths out there, and we think if they are dispelled we can build a more supportive community.
‘Australians have a proud history of rallying around when people are in desperate need,’ says Mr Raper.
‘With millions of people around the world forced from their homes in search of safety and a future for their children, we are facing a crisis that needs a generous and compassionate response from us all. Australian governments and the Australian people all have an important role to play, and while we already do a lot to support asylum seekers and refugees the need is so great we can and must continue to expand and deepen our contributions.’
Red Cross helps refugees and people seeking asylum based on need and regardless of how they arrived in Australia, or their visa status. We believe everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Red Cross operates on the principle of neutrality and has been working with vulnerable migrants for 100 years.