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Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, talks about Samaritan’s Purse’s efforts to aid Syrian refugees with Greta Van Susteren with the FOX News Channel. Photo courtesy of FOX News Channel

Originally published: 2014-02-08 16:26:32
Last modified: 2014-02-10 11:23:06

FOX Files featured Samaritan's Purse

by Allison Haver

FOX News Channel will present a new episode of FOX Files at 9 p.m. today which will feature a segment on Samaritan's Purse and its founder and president, Franklin Graham.

In December, FNC's Greta Van Susteren traveled to Kurdistan, Iraq, to witness how Graham and Samaritan's Purse are helping refugees who are fleeing the Syrian civil war.
The program will show Van Susteren sitting down with Graham to discuss how the organization is getting help to the people who need it most.

Samaritan's Purse has been working in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq since August, when Iraq offered asylum to Syrians caught in the crossfire of a civil war.

The refugee crisis was created by an internal conflict that has been tearing Syria apart for more than two years. Forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and President Bashar al-Assad are battling with rebel factions seeking to grab control.

Caught in the middle are innocent families who live in constant fear of violence.

According to Samaritan's Purse media relations coordinator Karina Peterson, since August, when Samaritan's Purse began helping Syrian refugees in northern Iraq, Graham has traveled to the area once, in December 2013.

"Even though he witnessed firsthand what the needs of all the families in the refugee camps were, he asked and found out the biggest need for the refugee families were heaters," Peterson said.

Graham committed to providing close to 2,000 heaters for the camp to help refugees fight off the harsh weather conditions.

"It's very cold in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq right now," Peterson said.

Samaritan's Purse has also provided warm clothes, shoes, 300 mattresses, household kits for families, diapers, baby formula and blankets among other things to the refugees.
"When you're fleeing your country you don't have time to pack up all your things, so we have tried to provide the families things they needed," Peterson said.

Food rations are provided for the refugees, however, fruits or vegetables are not included.

Samaritan's Purse team members have been distributing fruits and vegetables to the people in the camps to help with their nutrition, according to Peterson.

A sewing center has also been established for women to make a modest income while also providing an opportunity to help with the clothing situation and the team also built a soccer field for the people in the camps to play.

"We wanted to make life for them enjoyable while they are in the camp," she said.

On Jan. 25, Samaritan's Purse sent 65,000 shoeboxes from the organization's program, Operation Christmas Child, to the children in the refugee camps.

"From shoes to coats to heaters, we are meeting these needs, but to give the children these shoeboxes is really special," Peterson said.