NEW YORK (Reuters) - Looking for ways to help the hundreds of the thousands of refugees and migrants en route to the European Union to flee wars and poverty?
Below is a list of humanitarian organizations that are distributing aid and services within Europe as well as in the Middle East.
Keep in mind that it is a good idea to check out nonprofit organizations on sites like CharityNavigator (www.charitynavigator.org) and GuideStar (www.guidestar.org) before you make a donation to understand the mission of an organization and how they use funds.
Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org/) Through mid-August, the international aid group says it has rescued 11,482 people at risk of drowning through its search and rescue operations on the Mediterranean Sea. The organization also is providing direct medical services to refugees in locations throughout the Mediterranean, according to a spokesman. A map can be found here (here).
USA for UNHCR (www.unrefugees.org): Some 2,500 refugees and migrants have died or gone missing this year, the UNHCR says. The organization is providing water, mosquito nets, tents, healthcare and other services.
International Rescue Committee (here): This New York-based group has an emergency team in Greece on the island of Lesbos. Every year, IRC resettles thousands of refugees in 22 U.S. cities. It says it has assisted 270 of 1,541 Syrian refugees resettled to the United States.
Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org): The organization says some 5 million Syrian children are in need of assistance, including more 1 million Syrian children who have sought refuge in neighboring countries. Funds are used for food, clothing, care and protection as a result of the ongoing war. The group is distributing essential items such as diapers and hygiene kits.
Mercy Corps (www.mercycorps.org/): According to a spokeswoman, the organization has just completed an assessment in Greece and is in the process of formulating an aid action plan. There is no restricted fundraising for the crisis so far, she says.
World Vision (www.worldvision.org): This Christian humanitarian organization says its operations in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq are assisting refugees and migrants with clean water, cash assistance for food, hygiene kits, basic household goods, clothing, child-friendly spaces and education.
Oxfam America (www.oxfamamerica.org): Oxfam provides clean water and safe sanitation to Syrian families in Lebanon and Jordan.
CARE (www.care.org): CARE has operations in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria, offering all kinds of assistance to people affected by the Syrian conflict. For example, in Jordan CARE provides cash assistance to pay for basic living costs. In Lebanon, CARE is distributing packages to newly arrived refugees that contains basic essential items such as mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, baby items and hygiene kits.
Islamic Relief USA (www.irusa.org): The Islamic humanitarian group is running campaigns to raise funds for several projects, including emergency shelters for Syrian refugees.
Reporting By Lauren Young; Editing by Cynthia Osterman