Syrian refugee crisis: a ‘human flood’ into Lebanon

By |24 July 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 [...]

Conflict in Syria

By |26 April 2012|

An uprising against the Syrian government and the President Bashar al-Assad has left 9000 people dead since fighting broke out in March 2011. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes. Many have sought safety in neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, others remain in Syria. Conditions within Syria and for the refugees who have fled are bleak. They need food, shelter and medical assistance. Children need educational support and adults don’t have access to employment. Caritas staff members are providing aid both within Syria and to those refugees who have fled in Jordan and Lebanon. Caritas Turkey is also willing to respond. Pope Benedict’s Holy Thursday Mass collection went to Caritas Syria for humanitarian assistance to Syrian’s forced from their homes because of the conflict. "Particularly in Syria, may there be an end to bloodshed and an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation, as called for [...]
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    As winter sets in, Caritas Turkey helps quake victims stay warm

As winter sets in, Caritas Turkey helps quake victims stay warm

By |28 November 2011|

Caritas Turkey continues to help people made homeless by two earthquakes in the east of the country. After a second quake struck in early November, thousands of buildings slightly damaged by the October quake became uninhabitable. Many of the residents of the city of Van have fled to other parts of Turkey, but those without means to flee have stayed behind, in many cases without proper shelter or heating. “Van is a very poor area, and right now the temperate is dropping to -12 C at night,” says Belinda Mumcu of Caritas Turkey. “There are thousands of people living in the cold, staying in overcrowded tents.” “There is a general distrust of buildings, and so people are staying outdoors,” she continues. “Our Caritas field team notices that even in villages without any significant damage, the inhabitants camp outside.” Caritas initially distributed diapers, baby food, plastic sheets, coats for children, and […]

Caritas team heads to Turkey quake site

By |24 October 2011|

Read in French Update from Caritas Turkey team : The earthquake that hit Van region last Sunday was very severe. The region is not easily accessible, so transportation and distribution of aid items is complicated. Many people lost their homes and at night the temperature drops below zero. We already sent 1200 sleeping bags that we had in stock. As a first response, we will send blankets, coats, plastic sheeting and other items. We’ll do an assessment to understand the needs in the villages, and will continue closely monitoring developments. --- A Caritas Turkey team is en route to a region that was hit by a powerful earthquake on Sunday. The quake, which occurred in an eastern province of Turkey, killed over 200 people in cities there and brought down dozens of buildings. Caritas will assess the needs of people whose homes or livelihoods have been impacted by the quake. Access to the area’s [...]

A lifeline for Iraqi refugees in Turkey

By |23 June 2010|

“I was told to leave my country or die,” said Sanaa*. “They didn’t say why.” So in 2009, Sanaa left all she had worked for in Baghdad to go and live in Istanbul. She had friends in the Turkish capital, but nothing else. “Things are hard here. I left behind my house, my friends, my family and my job. I was a dentist in Iraq but I don’t have a job in Turkey because the language is very difficult,” said Sanaa. “I’m zero here. I don’t know what my future is. I depend on myself for everything. Before, my family used to help me,” she said. Caritas Turkey supports Iraqi refugees through theWomen’s Solidarity Group in Istanbul. The group is a lifeline for Iraqi women, for whom the challenges of being alone in a new country are enormous. It helps them tackle their sense of alienation and offers an environment in which [...]

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