UMC Relief: Syrians Flee into Capital, Need Food, Supplies

(Photo Credit: David Manyua/United Nations)Smoke billows skyward as homes and buildings are shelled in the city of Homs, Syria on June 9, 2012.

The United Methodist Church's humanitarian aid arm said Monday there is a need for food and other supplies to be delivered to refugees from Syria's provinces streaming into the country's population centers, including an increasingly insecure capital.

UMCOR – the United Methodist Committee on Relief - says reliable estimates show 1 in 20 Syrians are now internally displaced, roughly 1.5 million people.

The agency said in a report on its aid efforts through local Muslim charities that more and more Syrians throughout the country are abandoning their homes. UMCOR said other items being sent include hygiene kits, bedding, and infants' supplies.

While some families have headed for the country's borders, others who haven't or haven't yet tried are seeking refuge "in what they hope are safer areas inside Syria, including Damascus," the report states.

UMCOR is working with Turkey-based Muslim aid agency International Blue Crescent (IBC). That organization is working with Syria's own Arab Red Crescent organization.

UMCOR is also partnering with International Orthodox Christian Charities – a part of the international ACT alliance comprising 130 church-related organizations.

IOCC relates to the Red Crescent Syria's own relief group, the Al-Nadah Association, and also links closely to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, which caters to many among Syria's minorities.

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