Caritas Photo/Laura Sheahen

Laith Bisharat, supervisor for the Caritas Jordan center in Zarqa, Jordan, distributes blankets made by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) supporters to Syrian refugees. Caritas Jordan is an MCC partner agency.

AKRON, Pa. – As the violent conflict in Syria escalates, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) intensifies its efforts to help those affected. Four material resources shipments from Canada and the U.S. have reached the area for Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them.

To date, MCC has shipped 3,447 relief kits, 14,220 hygiene kits, 13,666 blankets, 17,160 school kits and 288 infant care kits to Jordan and Lebanon.

The number of Syrians entering Jordan each day has increased to as many as 2,000, according to MCC partner organization Caritas Jordan. Daryl Byler, an MCC representative in the region with his spouse Cindy, said the opening of the first refugee camps for Syrians is significant. “Previously, Syrians either stayed with Jordanian families or rented flats.” The Bylers are from Washington, D.C.

MCC’s response also includes distribution of food, medicine and fuel in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus, and increased support for disaster preparedness and conflict prevention activities in Lebanon, where there is tension and potential for the violence to spread. 

“The needs are urgent and the needs are growing,” said Bruce Guenther, MCC director of disaster response. “MCC is well positioned to respond but we cannot do this without the support of our congregations and the public. We are grateful for every gift.”

MCC encourages donations of money (specify “Middle East crisis”; and relief kits (information available from your nearest MCC office or