Winter Without a Home

Dear Friends for Life:   The New Year has dawned and the number of refugees in the Middle East has increased. For example, over 3 million Syrians are refugees today. This is the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era. Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria almost half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their home and flee for their lives in search of safety.

NRCWith winter having arrived, storms, snow and freezing cold are threatening the refugees. Norwegian Refugee Council, working in the area, fears that insufficient assistance may have fatal consequences for those refugees who are displaced from Lebanon to Northern Iraq. Similar weather conditions two years ago led to unnecessary deaths in the war-torn region. Now there are even more Syrian and Iraqi refugees in dire need of help.

NRCs Emergency Response Team leader Kate Norton states, “It is bitterly cold here now, particularly at night. Thousands of displaced Iraqis are living in unfinished and abandoned buildings totally exposed to the elements. There are no doors, nor windows and the roofs are leaking. There are severe weather warnings issued for the rest of this week and particularly in the mountain areas of Dohuk Governorate where many displaced have taken refuge.”

UNHCRUNHCR Representative to Lebanon Ninette Kelley states, “Despite our best efforts, the situation in Lebanon remains precarious for refugees given the extremely poor conditions in which they live and the scattered nature of the population. It is a constant challenge to ensure that refugees across more than 1,700 localities remain safe and warm throughout the winter months and have sufficient resources to withstand severe storms.”

There is an urgent need for the international community to help the refugees. We can make a difference this New Year. Please view the following brief video: Lebanon: Surviving the Snow


God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI



(The Difference is LIFE)  “To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”     (–G.K.Chesterton)


Websites by Fr. Jerry

Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in English) (in Japanese)

Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in Japanese)




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