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Caritas helps Syrian victims of war inside and outside the country
Syria’s humanitarian crisis is the biggest emergency for Caritas right now. The vicious conflict has forced 6 million Syrians out of their homes – 2 million of them into other countries – and has left more than 100 000 people dead.
Pope Francis is closely engaged with the crisis and is calling constantly for an end to the fighting. He has highlighted the assistance Caritas has given to Syrians regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliation as the best way to contribute towards peace.
Caritas gives them clothes, blankets and food parcels. If they are too sick or too poor to reach one of Caritas’ medical centres, a doctor visits them. It helps them find shelter, warmth and schooling for their children. Counsellors offer support to cope with depression and bereavement.
Despite the enormous difficulties and dangers, Caritas Syria continues to work inside the country. It provides emergency assistance from its centres, which are sometimes on the frontline.
Caritas Updates from Syria
Snow and freezing temperatures in the Middle East have left millions of Syrians in even greater need without the means to protect themselves against the weather.
Syrians and Iraqis struggling to cope with war in their own countries or as refugees far from home are now facing freezing weather conditions as one of the worst winter storms in decades hits the Middle East.
A winter storm has blanketed much of the Middle East in snow, leaving refugees huddling for warmth in their makeshift tents. Caritas has run winterization programmes, providing fuel, warm clothes and bedding and making tents and accommodation more resistant to cold conditions.
Caritas Syria President Bishop Audo says he feels attacked by the poverty in his country but finds hope in the Christmas message.
Earlier this year, Caritas Jordan received the approval of the Jordanian government to receive Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing persecution by Islamic extremists in Mosul and the Ninevah Plains.
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