Emergency relief in Syria
Since 2011 the civil war has caused untold suffering to the Syrian population. Both security forces and “rebels” have carried out numerous large-scale operations, resulting in mass executions, killings, arrests, kidnappings and torture.
Many businesses have closed down. The millions of tourists who previously supported the economy are no longer coming. The international embargo has made it difficult to export anything. Prices on the black market have exploded; job opportunities are increasingly scarce.
Many families and elderly people are suffering above all from the shortage of electricity and water and from the lack of food and medical supplies; frequently they no longer have a home. There are blackouts several times during the day, and gasoline is rationed. No one knows when the next bomb will fall.
The Franciscan presence in Syria: an indispensable aid for many Syrians
In contrast to many humanitarian organizations, since the beginning of the unrest the friars have never left the country and are still firmly present in numerous areas: Latakia, Damascus, Aleppo and in a number of villages in the Orontes Valley (Knayeh, Yacoubieh, Jisser and Gidaideh). They are bringing aid to the local population, without regard for their religion or nationality, and with a particular focus on women and children.
The friars of the Custody have established four reception centers, which are providing for the basic needs of the poorest among the population: purchasing food, clothing and blankets. They are also trying to deal with the emergency created by the absence of public health, providing medicines and essential medical care, especially through the hospital in Aleppo managed by the Custody and the health clinics operated by the Franciscan monasteries.
What you can do to help the work of the Franciscans in Syria
They are providing food and milk to children, clothes, glasses, medicines, medical care including operations; temporary accommodation for those whose homes have been destroyed by shellfire; and they are paying rents, travel expenses to escape the fighting, and school fees,
Via the Association pro Terra Sancta you too can be alongside the friars in Syria. Here is how we use your donations:
- 30 euros: allows us to purchase food, drinking water and medical care for children
- 50 euros: we can provide blankets in a reception center
- 100 euros: covers the school fees for a child, thereby keeping him (or her) off the streets
- 250 euros: supports the purchase of a piece of medical equipment for the hospital in Aleppo or the monthly rental for a family
To make a donation, which will be promptly transmitted to the friars present in Syria:
- ONLINE – credit card or PayPal
- BANK TRANSFER – IBAN: IT67 W050 18121010 0000 0122691 BIC/Swift Code: CCRTIT2T84A
“Syria is the second cradle of Christianity, and it is also a land in which our Franciscan presence is very ancient. And along the sanctuaries, it has paid it’s contribution with the blood of many of its sons who died as martyrs.” – Fr. Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land