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Civil war since March 2011 in Syria has left 12.2 million Syrians in need of assistance. 7.6 million people have been forced from their homes inside the country and 3.8 million are living in neighbouring countries as refugees. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is partnering with Caritas Lebanon to help support some of the 1.2 million Syrian refugees living in a country with a population the size of New Zealand.
Thanks to your support and that of the New Zealand Aid Programme, we have provided more than $305,000 in assistance to those in need through Caritas Lebanon. They are providing healthcare, food, fuel, counselling, blankets, clothes and shelter for refugees from all religious backgrounds, as well as support for host communities under stress. More is needed.
The President of Caritas Lebanon, Fr. Simon Faddoul, says their role is to stand by refugees. 'People don’t just need material aid, they also need affection. Our Caritas workers listen to their pain and that regenerates hope in them. ...I’m amazed by the resilience of the Syrian refugees. Their unrelenting human spirit gives hope back to us.'
Caritas Lebanon’s work represents part of a region-wide Caritas response supporting vulnerable people within Syria and in other neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. The United Nations and a global coalition of aid agencies have called for international powers to do more for victims of the Syrian conflict in a 'recent report'.
Phone 0900 4 11 11 to make an automatic $20 donation - a debit in the name of 'Caritas' will be added to your next telephone account.
Pope Francis, Caritas workers and Church leaders in the region have called for peace and negotiations – not further arms and military intervention. ‘The only road to peace is dialogue. War will not take us anywhere,’ says the President of Caritas Syria and Chaldean Catholic Bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo.
Church leaders in New Zealand, including Cardinal John Dew, recently released a statement to mark four years since the Syrian crisis began.
Sheltering refugees in Syria - a New Zealander's insight