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Caritas Lebanon reports that there is a shortage of shelter to house the influx of Syrian refugees, that diseases are spreading due to the unhygienic situation of the makeshift camps and that Lebanon’s delicate political balance is at risk. Caritas providing food, clothing, hygiene items and medical help.

Caritas Lebanon reports that there is a shortage of shelter to house the influx of Syrian refugees, that diseases are spreading due to the unhygienic situation of the makeshift camps and that Lebanon’s delicate political balance is at risk. Caritas providing food, clothing, hygiene items and medical help.

Caritas has been responding to the needs of Syrians since the first days of the crisis in March 2011, supporting both those inside the country and refugees throughout the region. Caritas has helped more than 100,000 people in need, without discrimination.

However, this is only a temporary remedy. There cannot be an end to the suffering of the Syrian population as long as the fighting continues.

The situation today is desperate. It must stop. Caritas is deeply concerned about the rising number of victims, especially civilians who live in constant fear and in precarious conditions inside Syria. Neighbouring countries have generously kept their borders open, but the rising flow of refugees has brought them economically and socially to their limits.

“What will happen to us, to my family, to my children? Our houses and cities are bombed and all our lives are wounded. I never thought that I was going to look for help from other people like I do now”, said a refugee from Aleppo to a Caritas worker.

The UN estimates more 80,000 people in Syria have lost their lives in the conflict since March 2011. According to official statistics, there are 1.2 million registered Syrian refugees , 4.5 million internally displaced persons and about 6.8 million people in need.

Caritas joins recent appeals of Pope Francis and other international voices concerned about the many victims of the conflict and the spillover to other countries in the region.

Caritas calls upon all concerned parties, the international community and people of good will to put human dignity and the common good first:

  • End all forms of violence to avoiding any further escalation of the conflict and searching for political solutions;
  • Cease to fund, arm or fuel the conflict in any way;
  • Use their influence to open avenues for dialogue among the concerned and conflicting parties, engaging in inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue which upholds the dignity and rights of individuals, including those of different ethnic and religious groups;
  • Show active international solidarity by funding the necessary programmes to ensure the protection of people in Syria as well as by designing an international strategy for the protection of Syrians fleeing the conflict and alleviating the burden on neighbouring countries of Syria;
  • Enable the Syrian people to access the basic services they need to live and maintain lives of dignity.

“We have to do everything to help warring parties to engage in a true and respectful dialogue which allows people to access their basic necessities and ultimately leads to peace for the Syrian people,” says Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis. “We should all be working to restore the sense of one human family rooted in a civilization of love that God calls us to develop in all countries and communities.”

“The Christian community is deeply rooted in Syrian society and it is engaged in promoting reconciliation and national dialogue, respect and ultimately peace. We pray for the illumination of the hearts as the Holy Father said and for peace. We hope our prayers are heard in heaven and our need for solidarity recognized on earth,” says Msgr Antoine Audo, Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo and President of Caritas Syria.

Contact: Valerie Kaye, Communication Officer, Caritas Internationalis, tel. +39 06 698 797 57 or email kaye@caritas.va.