The Al-Imdaad Foundation has sought to increase its assistance and aid towards refugees entering Europe from Syria and other war-ravaged countries in the Middle East, amid one of the world’s biggest refugee crises since World War II. A record number of people, believed to exceed 500 000, have made the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean in the hopes of better conditions in Europe, with countries like Germany opening its borders to deal with the influx.
Al-Imdaad Foundation itself has been extremely active in relief efforts and in the last week alone has aided 6,250 refugees. The foundation’s country director in the U.K, Hafez Abdussamad Moolla said that while they have been supporting refugees from Syria for more than four years already, it is since upped its effort.
“Our teams responded instantly. A few weeks ago we were in Hungary and Austria providing emergency relief to the refugees, and over the past week the teams have been in Lesvos, Greece where we have been assisting thousands of the refugees by providing sleeping bags, food aid, medical aid and shelter,” he explained, adding that they would next be moving to Macedonia, Serbia and Albania.
Moolla said many were making the journey on overcrowded boats meant for just 20 passengers but were in fact carrying up to 50 or 60 people at a time. These trips were being made in the dead of the night, increasing the risk factor.
“When they did cross you should have seen their reactions. Just first of all finding safety and reaching the shore, tears were rolling down from their eyes. The other problem they face is that some had to leave their family members behind, who are either still in Syria or in Turkey,” he said
With the majority of refugee camps packed to capacity, many are now being forced to sleep in the streets and roads of Lesvos.
While many charities around the world are donating towards relief efforts, on the ground Moolla said only a handful of Muslim NGOs were noted. Hence there was an urgent need for more of a presence on the ground, and for more emergency relief to deal with the influx.
“The winter months are coming, and the refugees are living in the streets. If we can try at least provide blankets for them, sleeping bags and medical aid this will benefit them,” he urged.
To view footage and images of the crisis, or if you would like to made contributions towards the cause please visit http://www.alimdaad.com/ or http://www.alimdaad.co.uk/. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)