MERATH helps local Christian churches and organizations implement long-term, community-based relief and development programs more effectively.
For example, MERATH, a Lebanese faith-based organization in the Middle East, improves local aid with ongoing training and support to meet key international humanitarian standards. MERATH helps local Christian churches and organizations implement long-term, community-based relief and development programs more effectively.
MERATH’s work is among the reasons why, when Nour did eventually turn to a local church for help, she said, “the love I have seen from these people is unlike anything I have seen from any place. I felt comfortable. They greeted me and gave me help without conditions.” […]
Ignoring faith doesn’t make it go away. It can even be disrespectful and dismissive of the very people we seek to help.
Religious belief and practice can be important coping strategies that offer needed psychosocial and spiritual support. Imposing an unbending Western secular framework is a mistake. A more nuanced understanding of the humanitarian principles of neutrality and impartiality and the role to be played by faith participants is needed.
With 44,400 people forced to flee their homes every day, sidelining faith partners is untenable. With a common commitment to relieving suffering, more equitable and effective care for refugees and migrants is possible by broadening partnerships to enhance what private sector, faith communities, and international financial institutions can bring to the table by working together.
It’s time to include faith-based organizations, and respect local faith communities for who they often are — key participants on the frontlines of global refugee and migrant response.