WJR appeal 'makes a difference to 17,557 lives'


British Jews have helped more than 17,500 people fleeing Syria and other war-torn countries over the past year, according to a new report.

The community raised £944,000 in response to an appeal by World Jewish Relief launched last September.

According to a report issued by the charity this week, the money has provided 3,169 children with winter kits including coats and blankets. It also paid for 2,050 back-to-school kits, helping refugee children in Turkey access education.

The report also states that, as a result of the appeal, more than 4,000 refugees were provided with medical care in Greece and a further 7,474 were given water, food and warm clothes.

The appeal was set up after shocking images were published of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned while fleeing across the Mediterranean to Greece.

Paul Anticoni, WJR's chief executive, said: "One year ago, a photo of a three-year-old Syrian boy named Alan Kurdi washed up on a beach, shocked the world into action. Thanks to the British Jewish community's outstanding generosity, over the past year, we've made a difference to 17,557 lives."

The report also outlines how the charity created a programme to help refugees integrate, following former Prime Minister David Cameron's announcement that the UK will resettle and house 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.

The programme draws on a similar project helping vulnerable Jews in the former Soviet Union. As part of the project, WJR plans to help 1,000 of the 20,000 Syrian refugees find employment and integrate into life in the UK.

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