God’s promise of abundant life is found in a life of peace, free from fear and persecution.

Yet, an unprecedented 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes because of war or a fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or social group.

Local partners in South Sudan screen children and lactating mothers for malnutrition. Much of the population has been forced from their homes and agricultural land in search of safety. A resulting famine has gripped the country. Photo: World Relief Canada

There are now more people displaced by conflict or persecution than any time since World War II. More than ever before, we must answer God’s call to be people of hope.

The refugee ministry of PWS&D is a response to the call to serve and defend the vulnerable and the persecuted. Within The Presbyterian Church in Canada, congregations are involved in sponsoring refugees. Through PWS&D, they also provide refugees overseas with vital humanitarian aid.

On World Refugee Day, we reflect on the ways we can help support these men, women and children on their journey toward a life of peace.

Syria: The Humanitarian Crisis Endures

Children play in the Aamer al Sanad refugee settlement in Kab Elias, a town in Lebanon which has filled with Syrian refugees. Photo: Paul Jeffrey, ACT Alliance

The conflict in Syria has entered its seventh year, and the suffering caused by senseless violence continues. The number of refugees has reached over five million. With 6.6 million displaced within Syria and 13.5 million in need of humanitarian aid, more help is needed.

PWS&D is responding through the ACT Alliance and Canadian Foodgrains Bank to provide food, shelter as well as livelihoods, education and psychosocial support to people in Syria as well as those living in Lebanon and Jordan. With support from the Government of Canada through Canadian Foodgrains Bank, donations to critical food assistance projects in Syria and Lebanon are matched 4:1. Learn how PWS&D is responding and how you can support life-saving efforts.

South Sudan: Responding to Famine and a Growing Refugee Crisis

Nicholas Chege Gitau, a nutritionist in South Sudan, helps a severely malnourished child drink a cup of nutrient milk. Photo: World Relief Canada

The world’s youngest country is making headlines since violent turmoil has forced over one million people from their homes in search of a safety.

Almost all of South Sudan’s population depend on what they can grow on plots of land. With their lives disrupted, farmers are unable to plant their crops or feed their families. Civil unrest has pushed this fragile country to a state of famine.

Responding through partners at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, PWS&D is helping provide nutrition support to 42,000 pregnant and lactating mothers and children under five. PWS&D is also helping support emergency food distributions for 13,500 individuals. Through the Government of Canada’s Famine Relief Fund, eligible donations toward hunger relief in South Sudan are matched 1:1. Additionally, with matching funds from the Government of Canada through CFGB, donations to this project are matched 4:1.

Learn more about PWS&D’s emergency response in South Sudan and make a donation.

You Can Help Bring More Refugees to Canada!

PWS&D is so appreciative of Presbyterian congregations, presbyteries and other groups who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to refugee sponsorship. So far this year, PWS&D has matched 10 sponsoring groups with BVOR refugee cases. Our sponsorship quota is for 77 people.

Congregations are encouraged to write to their MPs as well as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to urge that quotas be increased so that more qualified sponsorship groups can welcome refugees to Canada. Find a letter template under “Additional Resources” or contact sponsorship [at] presbyterian [dot] ca.

Read the most recent refugee sponsorship update!

Resources for World Refugee Day

Welcoming the Stranger will call your church together to reflect on those enduring displacement around the world. Additionally, you can learn more about conflict, migration and refugees in Forced to Flee—an activity for youth and young adults.

Image of arrow pointing downWelcoming the Stranger Worship Resource

Image of arrow pointing downForced to Flee Youth Resource