Middle East update

5 Sep 2014   |   Syria   |   Emergency Relief

Caritas Australia is deeply distressed by the appalling acts of violence against innocent people in the Middle East, particularly in Gaza, Iraq and Syria. We stand in solidarity with all people who have been forced to flee for their safety, those who have lost loved ones, and those who will bear the scars of the fighting long after it is over.

We are working in close collaboration with our international Caritas network to identify how we can best contribute to the coordinated response and help families affected by the violence. As the situation progresses, we will continue to keep you updated on our response in each area.


Woman sits amidst destroyed buildings in Gaza.

After weeks of intensive fighting in Gaza, a much-welcomed ceasefire was brokered by Egypt on the 26th of August 2014. This welcome news has meant that crossings into Gaza have been reopened, allowing more humanitarian aid to enter.

Although the fighting has ceased, the crisis in Gaza is far from over. Some of the challenges faced by civilians include repairing damages to their homes, and shortages in medical supplies in hospitals.

Caritas Australia is supporting our local partners to deliver essential medicines to hospitals, as well as providing vital medical and psychosocial services to people who had been affected by the fighting.

We will continue to work with civilians as they begin the task of rebuilding their lives, and we pray that leaders will take up inclusive negotiations towards a more just and peaceful society.

Donate to the Emergency Response Fund to help provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by emergencies around the world, including Gaza.


Refugees at a camp in the Syrian Kurdish area

More than 1.2 million people have fled their homes in northern and central Iraq as religious extremists calling themselves the Islamic State have targeted people of minority faiths, such as Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims.

This huge humanitarian crisis in Iraq has forced many families to leave without their possessions or the basic necessities to survive. They are desperate and frustrated. They lack hope that the world will move fast enough to end this humanitarian tragedy.”
Nabil Nissan, Executive Director of Caritas Iraq

The international Caritas network, led by Caritas Iraq and CRS (Caritas USA) is providing humanitarian aid to thousands of displaced Iraqi families, irrespective of religious, ethnic or political background.

Caritas Australia is supporting the response led by Caritas Iraq, which aims to help people in northern Iraq affected by the crisis. The emergency response includes providing food, non-food items, psychosocial support, and resources to help people prepare for winter temperatures. Contact us on 1800 024 413 for more information.


Syrian refugees living in Jordan

The fighting in Syria began over three years ago in March 2011. With no end in sight, it is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with over 9 million people in vital need of humanitarian aid.

There are now close to 3 million registered Syrian refugees who have fled to the surrounding countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq (UNHCR, September 2014). As the number of refugees continues to increase, the strain on resources of host communities in neighbouring countries intensifies.

Caritas Australia is providing humanitarian support to Syrian refugee and host communities in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The response is focused on providing psychosocial support, health care, educational services and shelter.

Despite the growing scale of the crisis, its protracted nature has meant that much of the international attention has moved on to more recent humanitarian emergencies. We are committed to helping families displaced by the crisis in Syria as long as it is needed.

Donate to the Syria crisis appeal to help families and communities affected by one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today.
Stand with Syria by sending a message to Australia’s leaders to ask them to do all they can to end the appalling suffering.

Violence is not conquered by violence. Lord, send us the gift of peace.”
Pope Francis

Last updated: 24 September 2014

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