The Syrian Refugee Crisis
You may have seen the awful images of Aylan Kurdi’s tiny body that was washed up on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. The images of the horrific event have been flooding every form of media and people are finally starting to realize the hardships that the people in Syria are facing.
Since the start of the civil war in Syria more than 4 million Syrians have fled from Syria. Since the beginning of 2014, 160 000 refugees have landed in Greece. Greece has its own set of problems that they are dealing with but it is only a two mile stretch from Akyarlar to the Greek island of Kos. Smugglers are making money off the suffering of innocent, desperate people trying to get their families to safety. Refugees wait for calls from smugglers in hotels and in the streets of Bodrum. The people know that there is nothing left or there them, no future and no schools.
Abdullah Kurdi, the father of Alyan Kurdi, had attempted once before to make the trip to Greece with the aid of smugglers. Unfortunately this time the journey was met with a horrible fate. The boat that was used to transport the people across was a small, childlike boat that was doomed from the start. Adullah Kurdi tried in vain to steer the tiny boat away from the danger of the huge waves. Teema Kurdi, Abdullah’s sister, lives in Vancouver and was hoping to get her brother and his family into Canada so that she could sponsor the family.
The images that were plastered all over newspapers, news shows and social media have caused an international outcry over the refugee crisis that we are facing. Since the incident the Canadian Government has offered Mr. Kurdi citizenship. The UK government is facing increasing pressure to act on the refugee crisis.
The province of Quebec plans to triple the number of refugee sponsorships. Immigration minister, Kathleen Weil, said that the province of Quebec will accept 3650 Syrian refugees. Weil also said, “in face of the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, we can do better,” this is what Weil said of the existing efforts in Canada to help Syrian refugees. 1800 Syrians will be welcomed through collective sponsorship programs and 650 of the people will be sponsored by the government. Weil wants to fast-track the sponsorships to get the refugees to safety as quickly as possible. The province of Quebec expects to spend $29 million to facilitate the 650 state sponsorships.
We can only hope that more countries will get involved and put an end to the refugee crisis and take a stand. The province of Quebec is making big steps to start the process and we hope the rest of the world pays attention.