OTTAWA — Almost every day for the last two months, the lanky, wide-eyed Syrian boy asks his teacher when his parents will come to join him in northern Lebanon.
The boy fled Syria’s civil war — now in its 22nd month — with his aunt. What he doesn’t know is that his parents are among the estimated 60,000 people that the United Nations estimates have been killed in the war.
“Nobody knows when the aunt will tell him,” recalled a weary Patricia Erb, over the telephone late Wednesday night from Beirut.
Erb, the president of Save the Children Canada, visited the boy and his class of Syrian refugees the previous day, where she sat and listened to “all these individual, tragic stories.”
Canada announced Wednesday that it is contributing an additional $25 million to help people displaced by the Syrian crisis, bringing the country’s total contribution to $48 million to date.
But with no end in sight to the Syrian bloodshed, Erb and many others like her say much more will be needed.
Canada’s latest contribution will help provide food, water, shelter, medical care and safety for some of the estimated 700,000 refugees who have fled Syria into neighbouring countries.