Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.


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Syrian Refugees

Civil war since March 2011 in Syria has left 12.2 million Syrians in need of assistance. Approximately 8 million people have been forced from their homes inside the country, and more than 4 million are living in neighbouring countries as refugees.

Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.

Less than half the hospitals in Syria are currently functioning and water and electricity are not always available. More than Four million people have been forced out of Syria and are living as refugees in neighbouring countries. Approximately 1.2 million of these people are living in Lebanon where we support Caritas Lebanon's development and humanitarian aid programmes.

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.

Thousands of refugee families from the Middle East continue to make the perilous journey into Europe. Caritas supports the call of the Catholic Bishops to increase the number of refugees our country offers sanctuary to as a response to the crises in the Middle East.



*If donating online, select Peace in the Middle East


  • Internet banking deposit to Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, account number: 03 0518 0211216 00 
  • Phone 0800 22 10 22 to make a credit card donation (during office hours) 
  • 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.
  • Post a cheque to Caritas Freepost 689, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144.

Call for peace and dialogue

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.

Church leaders' statement

liturgy (from the World Council of Churches)

Prayer resources for Syria are here

Questions and answers on Syria and what Caritas is doing

Other news

Read stories of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Sheltering refugees in Syria  - a New Zealander's insight




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