On Thursday evening, Donald Trump announced that he had ordered a strike on an air base in western Syria following one of the worst chemical bombings in the country's history. In the wake of the violence, you may be wondering how to donate to nonprofits helping Syria, where civil war has been raging on for six years. Although no single person can solve the Syrian crisis — last month, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called the conflict the "worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II" — it's important to do what you can from afar.
The chemical bomb targeted a rebel-held zone in the northern part of the country. According to the New York Times, it's possible the attack involved the use of nerve agents or other banned chemicals, although this has not been proven. U.S. officials believe the Syrian government was responsible for the attack; however, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime has denied any hand in it. After two days of deliberation, Trump ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles intended to destroy the Syrian airfield from which officials believe the chemical attack originated.
It may seem impossible to help when you're thousands of miles away, but if you can spare the money, there are plenty of nonprofits working to aid in the conflict. You can always do your own research, and if that's the route you choose to take, be sure to check out the organization on Charity Navigator. Otherwise, here are eight nonprofits that deserve a donation.
1. Palestine Children's Relief Fund
Established in 1991 to aid Palestinian youth, the PCRF now offers medical care to children all over the Middle East, and it has received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. One of the nonprofit's current programs is the Syrian Children Relief Project, which provides Syrian refugees with humanitarian and medical care and aims to "facilitate more medical missions and assist in covering the expenses for their treatment in local hospitals." You can donate here.
2. Save The Children
3. Hand in Hand For Syria
Like Save the Children, Hand in Hand for Syria (HHS) is actually on the ground in the country. The UK nonprofit was created by a group of British-Syrians not long after the civil war began in 2011; today, it retains more than 300 staff in the country. On top of humanitarian aid, HHS works to rebuild Syrian infrastructure, and it partners with other NGOs and governments to distribute aid in otherwise-unreachable areas. Donate to HHS here, or text HIHS10 to 70070.
4. Oxfam International
Oxfam International writes on its website that it has helped more than two million people in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon receive clean water and sanitation. Although it distributes hygiene kits, blankets, and water bottles, the nonprofit's focus in Syria is mainly on "rehabilitating the water infrastructure" by repairing wells and water trucking. Furthermore, Oxfam runs a campaign advocating for an end to the conflict, and it works to provide aid to refugees in camps within neighboring countries.
You can donate to Oxfam here.
5. ActionAid International
ActionAid International uses its resources to help people "find their own solutions" to getting out of poverty. The nonprofit writes on its website that it has been working in Jordan and Lebanon since 2005. On top of a cash aid program and giving out sanitary items and clothing to refugees in surrounding countries, ActionAid also provides "longer term psychosocial support and the means to earn a living."
Donate to ActionAid here.
6. Syrian American Medical Society
Inside the country, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) provides medical care and relief, establishing more than 100 medical facilities so far. Outside Syria, SAMS provides medical care to refugees in neighboring countries. The nonprofit runs several different campaigns, including the child-focused Brave Little Hearts and Save Aleppo.
Donate to SAMS here.
7. International Medical Corps
International Medical Corps (IMC) first began providing primary health care and humanitarian assistance in Syria in 2007, and it continues to retain workers and medical facilities in Damascus. In response to the conflict, IMC has increased its refugee support services in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
Donate to IMC here.
The UN-led UNICEF focuses on protecting the rights of children worldwide, and on its website, the nonprofit states that it is working to prevent Syrian children from becoming a "lost generation." Efforts include education, medical relief, nutrition, water, immunization, and more.
Donate to UNICEF through its website.