With generous support from The Patterson Foundation, the CDP Global Refugee Crisis Fund continues to provide hope for children and adolescents in Syria.

Zaatari Refugee Camp classroom

Before I share the news about the three grants we awarded from the CDP Refugee Crisis Fund, here’s a quick refresh of the facts and statistics associated with the refugee crisis:

  • 65.3 million people are forcibly displaced around the world.
  • 21 million are registered as refugees and at least half of those are children.
  • 53 percent of the world’s refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia, respectively.

The CDP Refugee Crisis Fund was created in response to the needs of all the individuals who are captured in these overwhelming statistics. The fund connects donors to these individuals by giving them opportunity to have a meaningful impact. By acting collectively, donors can more effectively address the needs of refugees and displaced persons across numerous humanitarian sectors.

For me, our approach to grantmaking is transformative. The CDP team learns from the organizations on-the-ground who are doing the heavy lifting to meet the needs of conflict-affected communities. We emphasize long-term recovery efforts, or in the case of Syria, we focus on programs that support lives, livelihoods, and overall well-being beyond the life of the actual grant year. We work hard to be true to our organizational mission that hopes for “a world where donors strategically plan for and respond to disasters in order to minimize their impact on vulnerable populations and communities.”

This year, two organizations received a second award from the CDP Global Refugee Fund. Concern Worldwide and Mercy Corps’ previous work in Syria was exemplary, and absolutely worthy of a second grant for an additional year’s work.

Concern Worldwide received a second grant to extend their existing work and increase the capacity of two child-friendly spaces. The overarching goal of this project is to provide safe places for women and children in Syria.

mercycorps-jordan-2016-ssheridan-0174-2The second grant to Mercy Corps allows them to support one No Lost Generation Community Center designed to address the critical needs of adolescents, their families, and communities in Syria. The objective of their work is to improve access to formal education and psychosocial support for adolescents in Syria through a new community center.

With their grant, Maram Foundation for Relief and Development is undertaking facility and capacity improvements for the school that they run for internally displaced children. There are over 400 students in grades one through six who will benefit from school supplies, books, and learning materials; additional staff and teachers; and, increased gender-based violence and psychosocial support training for teachers and school staff.

My sincerest thanks go to the members of the grant advisory committee that included: Aryah Somers Landsberger, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, Julien Schopp, InterAction, Lori Bertman, Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Foundation, Susan Martin, School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Joe Ruiz, The UPS Foundation, and Tony Pipa, Brookings Institution. My colleagues Anna R. Hurt and Bob Ottenhoff and I would not be able to do this type of grantmaking without the committee’s leadership, candor, smarts, and friendship.

If you would like to learn more about our grant work in Syria, about the CDP Global Refugee Crisis Fund, or about the Center for Disaster Philanthropy overall, I hope you will not hesitate to contact us.