Meeting at the Vatican to discuss Syrian aids. The Association pro Terra Sancta was also present
Today – Thursday, September 17th 2015 – at the Vatican, the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” held a meeting for all Catholic charities dealing with the Syrian crisis. In attendance was Tommaso Saltini, Director of Association pro Terra Sancta, and one of his collaborators Giacomo Gentile.
The aim of the meeting was to assess the work that has been done so far and highlight critical areas and priorities for the future, but also to create greater synergy between the various bodies operating on the field with the Holy See.
The Association pro Terra Sancta (NGO in support of the Custody of the Holy Land) has been assisting the Franciscan friars in their mission in Syria, since the beginning of the war, supporting the convents and parishes which provide shelter and see to the basic needs (food, clothing and medicine) of an awful lot of families. Four welcome centres (Knayeh, Yacoubieh, Jser – El Chougour and Jdeideh) have been created so far and they house around 200 people and see to the needs of another 4,000 every day. Every month around 50 families are helped to find new homes.
Only in Aleppo, the project “Emergency Syria: support for families struck by the conflict” ES/10250/A004, funded by the Italian Cooperation for development, helped more than 6.000 people. Through the through the dispensation of foodstuffs, medicines and other basic materials, families receive aids so as not to leave their homes to find relief elsewhere.
The Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land have been active in Syria since before the start of the conflict and it is precisely for this reason that they are able to act and provide the necessary help.
The pro Terra Sancta Association has already made a significant contribution, thanks to the generosity of the many who have made lots of small but important donations. However, it’s still not enough. The need is great and many people are surviving only thanks to foreign aid. Funds are physically brought to Syria, which guarantees that they are correctly used.