As if being a refugee wasn’t difficult enough, millions of Syrians now have the mystery of where there next meal comes from hanging over their head. Earlier this week, the World Food Programme was forced to put on hold food vouchers for the Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. While a lack of food vouchers can never come at a good time, this is especially difficult as a fierce and cold winter approaches.
If the World Food Programme does not receive the necessary funding, it will affect both the refugees and the hosting nations. While the hosting nations are crucial to the refugees, the loss in funding has lead to many pointing fingers, namely at donors, wealthier countries and the United Nations itself. The WFP pleads to the donors to stay true to their commitments and critics look to other countries to provide additional support both financially and as providing safe havens.
In hopes of providing support, the UN has asked the public to donate at least $1 to cover the $64 million needed by December to support the Syrian Refugees. While appealing to the souls of the generous may provide some support, there still remains the question, why haven’t other countries opened their borders to these refugees? This question is posed mainly at the European Union member states, who have yet to host any refugees. Many feel the refugees have set up base in “ill-equipped” countries.
At this point we must ask, what duty, legal or moral, do better equipped countries have to those in need? This is a broad question that applies to many situations, but it also furthers the inquiry if support is to be provided, how much and what kind is appropriate? Should there be protocol for this situations? Or do we have to rely on international and non-profit organizations to set the standards?