Pope praises Syria response

13 June 2013

Doctor with child refugee in Lebanon

At an event in Rome last week, Pope Francis praised the work of local church organisations that we support both inside Syria and in the wider region.

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The Pope praised the work of our partners, telling them that their courage in responding to the suffering of the people of Syria was the best way to cement peace.

“The work of various Catholic charitable agencies is extremely significant. Assisting the Syrian population, without regard for ethnic or religious affiliation, is the most direct way to contribute to peace,” he said. 

Mike Noyes, CAFOD’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes, attended the meeting and had an opportunity to meet with the Pope. He said: “We welcome the Pope’s words of encouragement. Our partners both inside Syria and on the borders in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan are overwhelmed by the suffering of Syrians as the conflict continues to escalate.

Syria Crisis by numbers
  • 6.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance of Syria
  • 1.6 million people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries
  • 93,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict on 15 March 2011

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“Fr. Simon Faddoul, President of Caritas Lebanon, who was also at the meeting, told me that the humanitarian situation there is desperate, as over a million Syrian refugees have sought safety in their tiny neighbour.   

“Fr. Faddoul says that there is a shortage of shelter to house the refugees, and diseases are spreading due to the unhygienic situation of the makeshift camps.

“Pope Francis has stressed his concern for the suffering that the people of Syria are going through and he encouraged the initiatives of the international community to bring a peaceful end to the conflict. 

“We join him in that message for peace and an end to the suffering. The international community must work harder to create a meaningful peace process to bring an end to the suffering.”

Download "What now for Syrian Refugees?", a joint CAFOD and World Vision briefing paper.

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