Update #12

Winter is the harshest season for refugees, as many are not in possession of basic necessities, including jackets, gloves, and heaters. The CARE country directors for Syrian, Flaten and Wouter Schaap, note that cold weather brings about respiratory diseases and mental health concerns. However, as the refugee crisis enters its seventh year, governmental aid is becoming increasingly sparse.

Funding delays are particularly prominent in Canada. A recent report from a federal auditory states that the 45,000 Syrian refugees in the nation are receiving above-average aid and job training upon their first year of arrival. Although $257 million were expected to be allocated towards resettlement services, delays in distribution led local agencies to cease activity for up to three months, leaving many families on the waitlist for permanent resettlement and employment. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau contends that the country will not prosper without properly addressing the needs of the Syrian population.

Despite these roadblocks, a group of MIT students has set out to keep Syrians warm over the winter. Undergrad Vick Liu and his team of six created TravlerPack, a lightweight, waterproof sleeping bag that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. The team recently partnered with NuDay Syrian to send over 300 TravlerPacks to refugees in light of the coming season. Please Liu’s GoFundMe page to read more about his story.

Sources:

Board, Star Editorial. “Track Syrian refugees to ensure they prosper: Editorial.” Thestar.com, 22 Nov. 2017, www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/11/22/track-syrian-refugees-to-ensure-they-prosper-editorial.html.

Linke, Rebecca . “MIT students design and donate sleeping bags to Syrian refugees.” MIT News, 18 Sept. 2017, news.mit.edu/2017/mit-students-design-and-donate-travlerpack-sleeping-bags-to-syrian-refugees-0918.

Miller, Jacquie. “Delays in funding forced cuts to settlement services for Syrian refugees, auditor general finds.” Ottawa Citizen, 21 Nov. 2017, ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/delays-in-funding-forced-cuts-to-settlement-services-for-syrian-refugees-auditor-general-finds.

Sullivan, Meghan Collins, and Mary Louise Kelly. “What Will Winter Bring For Syria's Refugees?” NPR, NPR, 9 Nov. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/11/09/561054896/what-will-winter-bring-for-syrias-refugees.

#Syria #Refugees #Canada #TravlerPack