Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency, has launched an appeal calling on Australians to do more to help ease the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Caritas said in a media release that World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to recognise humanitarian workers who face dangerous situations on a daily basis.
"The ongoing conflict in Syria has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. More than 100,000 people have died, and over 8.3 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance."
Caritas Australia has launched a Syria Crisis Appeal with crucial funds needed in coming months to help with this escalating crisis. So far, the United Nations has confirmed that only about one third of the $2.6 billion in funding required for the crisis has been pledged.
Melville Fernandez, Caritas Australia’s Humanitarian Emergencies Group Leader, said the need is enormous. “Our Caritas network including Caritas Jordan, Caritas Lebanon and Caritas Turkey have a long-established presence in the region, but are challenged on a daily basis with the scale of this crisis and the surging numbers,” Mr Fernandez said.
“We honour and thank our Caritas partners, staff and volunteers on World Humanitarian Day as they work tirelessly to help so many families rebuild their lives, but at this time we also appeal to our Australian community for their generous support. We urgently need more funds so that we can provide emergency assistance to many vulnerable people who have left their belongings, homes and livelihoods to escape the devastating conflict.”
Caritas Australia is working with our Caritas partners to deliver humanitarian support to Syrian refugees including; food, rent assistance, heaters and blankets, primary medical care, counselling and schooling for children.
“We are also supporting vulnerable members of the communities who have accepted the refugees (host communities) in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, who are facing a huge rise in the cost of living and increasing pressure under the large inflow of refugees,” Mr Fernandez said.
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