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Refugee crisis in Europe: what you can do

A little girl waits as her family lines up to register with the local authorities in Greece. She and her family have travelled from Iraq and must register before they can proceed further.

The dramatic scenes in recent weeks from the European refugee crisis have touched us all. We've seen the images and heard the stories as thousands of refugees from Syria and other areas arrive at borders every day seeking a safer future for themselves and their families.

We know that many people here in Australia want to help. We've put together this list of six things you can do right now to help refugees and asylum seekers not only in Europe and the Middle East, but also here at home in Australia.

How you can help the European refugee crisis

  • Donate: to Red Cross' Syria Crisis Appeal. More than 16 million Syrian refugees need help urgently. Many are seeking shelter from the fighting and the winter cold in damaged buildings, while others have become refugees in neighbouring countries. Donations to the Syrian refugee crisis will be used to provide food parcels, hygiene kits, blankets and clean water.
  • Pledge: read up on how the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is helping on the ground in Europe and sign up to #protecthumanity.

How you can help refugees and asylum seekers in Australia

  • Donate to our work in Australia with Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Crisis and help those experiencing hardship and poverty. Donations will be used to provide emergency relief to those with no income, as well as helping people find shelter and education for their children.
  • Be informed: hear the stories of refugees who fled to Australia and read the 13 refugee facts  you should know. There are many myths out there, and we think if they are dispelled we can build a more supportive community.
  • Understand: put yourself in the shoes of a refugee with our 'And then I was a refugee … ' app or a family separated by war with our A Family Reconnected interactive storybook.
  • Spread the word: share the links above with your friends and family - an informed community is a compassionate, and strong. Refugees and people seeking asylum in Europe, Australia and worldwide are some of the most vulnerable today and need our help

Photo: Stephen Ryan/IFRC