WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Relief International (RI) launched the $20,000,000 Sezgin Baran Korkmaz Initiative: For the Sake of Our Children on Monday evening, November 16, 2015, at a private reception and dinner at The Harvard Club of New York. Named for the Turkish businessman and philanthropist who pledged the funding, the five-year initiative will target the educational and other needs of Syrian refugee children.
Select international leaders in humanitarian aid work, refugee assistance and business were in attendance with philanthropists and grant makers as RI and Mr. Korkmaz announced the first round of projects to be funded by the initiative. RI programs bridge the gap between short-term relief and long-term development. The organization's participatory and inclusive approach to programming will concentrate on the need for protection among children, women and other particularly vulnerable groups.
Through the activities of the Korkmaz Initiative, RI will engage and cultivate local leadership to understand their hopes, needs and priorities in education, health, economic opportunity and WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene). Programs deployed through the initiative will follow methods already proven in the field. In addition, programs will offer beneficiaries skills and knowledge that will be valuable when they return home or resettle.
By working directly with communities, RI will help beneficiaries identify their current assets and prioritize needs. The initiative will be expanded country by country, as needed.
The Syrian Refugee Crisis
Since conflict between the Syrian government and opposition groups took hold in the spring of 2011, more than two million refugees have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, making it one of the largest displacements in recent history. More than six million people are estimated to be displaced within Syria, where 9.3 million people – nearly half the population – require humanitarian assistance.
Relief International's Current Work in Syria
In 2012, Relief International launched operations in Jordan and Lebanon to assist Syrian refugees living both in camps and host communities, where refugees have levied enormous social and economic burdens. Over the past year, RI has provided refugees with vital services in education, water and sanitation hygiene, and non-food items, and has expanded activities to Iraq and Turkey. RI has helped meet the needs of more than 400,000 Syrians.
SOURCE Relief International