November 15, 2012
By Michelle Hough, Caritas Internationalis communications officer What with a police helicopter hovering over the Caritas offices for hours yesterday afternoon, I kept thinking about the film Apocalypse Now rather than writing a blog on Caritas Italiana’s book “Markets of War”*… and it was driving me a bit crazy.
“We had normal lives. We had our own business. We had beautiful houses...it’s all gone, it has been destroyed and burned during the war and now I live in this tent.” Salwa is one of the 100,000 Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon. She lives in a camp in the Bekaa Valley. The rickety tent she shares with her five children is her new home. Made of stitched up bags and rags, it is wholly inadequate for the coming winter rain. “They don’t know where to sleep. Every day we receive many families who tell us they have been sleeping in the open,” said Maria Abou Diman a social worker for Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center. The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is estimated at 200,000. Many choose not to register, mainly through fear of reprisals. “Some people think that when they register, their name will be sent back to Syria, and [...]
October 25, 2012
While international efforts are made to bring about a ceasefire in Syria, refugees continue to flood over the border into neighbouring countries. Up to 360,000 have fled Syria as a result of the ongoing conflict there. They may have lost family members in the violence or been separated from them. They leave behind their homes and sometimes all their possessions. Caritas in Lebanon and Jordan welcome the refugees with shelter, food, basic necessities and moral support. However, as winter approaches and they face life in tents and temporary shelters, the hardships faced by the refugees are growing daily. Press release: Caritas struggling to meet Syria crisis Syrian crisis: Tough times ahead for refugees | Watch video 100,000 Syrians in Lebanon face hardship as winter looms Caritas Jordan helping Syrian refugees Caritas blog: Life after Syria Interview with Bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo, describing the plight of Syrians people and their needs. Interview given to Aid to the Church in [...]
September 26, 2012
August 10, 2012
Since 2011, violence in Syria has forced thousands of people to leave their homeland, with a huge wave of refugees pouring into Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. Caritas is giving refugees food, medical care, and emergency items.
Why are so many people fleeing Syria? A conflict between government and anti-government forces in Syria has escalated sharply since early 2011. Aerial bombardments, shooting on the streets, sniper attacks, and other types of violence have hurt thousands of Syrian civilians. Many Syrians were hiding in their homes for months, unable to work or go to school, before they decided to flee to other countries to escape the violence. Most Syrians remain in their country. Some have been displaced and face the same challenges that Syrian refugees abroad face. Caritas is providing food in Aleppo and Homs, mainly for displaced people. Where are the Syrian refugees going? The refugees are primarily fleeing to the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Some Iraqi refugees who were living in Syria have now fled back to Iraq. Where do the refugees live? Some refugee families are living in apartments or old buildings, often crowding into very small [...]
July 24, 2012
Since 2011, violence in Syria has forced thousands of people from their homes. In mid-July 2012, the conflict worsened rapidly and a huge wave of refugees poured into Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. On July 24, Father Simon Faddoul, the head of Caritas Lebanon, spoke with Caritas Internationalis about the plight of the new refugees in his country. The situation has deteriorated rapidly in the past week. Can you tell us what’s happening now? The past five days have been extremely dangerous to the people of Syria. People are fleeing the war and coming to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Here in Lebanon, it’s been like a human flood over the border from Damascus. In 24 hours we had, at one time last week, over 15,000 people enter at one legal border crossing. If you count all the rest who come in other ways, it’s far more. They’re arriving in cars, trucks, buses, and [...]
June 18, 2012
The Catholic Church in Italy will hold a national fundraising collection in parishes Sunday 10 June following the earthquake and aftershocks that have affected the Emilia Romagna region. The Italian bishops have already allocated €3 million to help survivors of the quake that struck 20 May in the area of Modena and Ferrara and the large aftershocks which still continue. The funds collected 10 June will be used by Caritas Italy (known locally as Caritas Italiana) to help in the aftermath of the disaster. Caritas Italy has already pledged €100,000. See the poster: poster_terremotonorditalia_A3 Up to now 150,000 people have been forced from their homes with 15,000 living in tents Caritas Italy says that with aftershocks continuing, fear is increasing among those evacuated from their homes. Its staff are working with local diocesan Caritas Emilia Romagna workers to coordinate the emergency response through a coordination centre has been set up in the [...]
May 31, 2012
The announcement today of the Scottish Government's Climate Justice Fund has been welcomed by international development and environmental organisations in Scotland. The fund was launched by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, alongside former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. SCIAF, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, a member of the global Caritas Internationalis network of Catholic development agencies, is among the groups welcoming the news. The new fund to help people living in some of the world's poorest countries affected by the changing climate, such as more frequent and severe droughts and floods, has cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament. The Climate Justice Fund will be a good example to bring to the Rio+20 summit in June of how the rich world can face up to its historic responsibility for climate change and its substantial negative impact on many of the world’s poorest people. Philippa Bonella, Head of Communications and Education at SCIAF, said, [...]