CCCB joint emergency campaign with Development and Peace for Syrian refugees: donations needed by September 14

Thursday, August 15 2013

Bannervertical_Syria_EN(CCCB – Ottawa)… One month remains in the joint campaign by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) to raise emergency aid for Syrian refugees. Launched June 21, 2013, this humanitarian campaign will culminate in a day of prayer and fasting for the people of Syria and all the Middle East on Saturday, 14 September 2013, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. All donations to the special campaign are to be sent to Development and Peace by 14 September. Already CCODP has raised approximately $284,000 in contributions from Canadian Catholics.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at the end of July reported almost 2 million Syrian refugees have sought shelter in neighbouring Middle East countries. The report notes that so far the refugees generally have access to basic public services, and that malnutrition and mortality rates to date are relatively low. However, the UNHCR also warns the number and needs of the Syrian refugees are growing, as well as placing serious pressures on host communities in the surrounding countries. In addition to the refugees outside Syria, an additional 6,800,000 people still living in that country are seriously affected by their country’s ongoing violence, of whom almost half are children. The total estimated population of Syria in 2012 was about 22.5 million.

Smith_Richard-2012In a letter addressed to the Catholics of Canada this past June, the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the CCCB, together with Pope Francis and all the Bishops of Canada, invited Catholics to be in solidarity with the people of Syria in their many sufferings from war, violence and displacement. “As a community of faith, let us pray to God to bring justice, peace and healing to the region. Let each of us do what we can to provide assistance and aid to our suffering brothers and sisters in Syria and its neighbouring countries,” the CCCB President stated in his letter.

The revenues collected from the CCCB-CCODP emergency joint campaign will assist the extensive work in the Middle East by Catholic charities and development agencies, particularly Caritas Internationalis. Since October 2012, Development and Peace has been taking action to help victims of the civil war in Syria, and providing support for its partners in the region, mainly Caritas Syria, Caritas Lebanon, Caritas Jordan, Caritas Turkey and Menapolis. The most vulnerable individuals receive priority assistance: pregnant women, children, and the wounded.

Link to the CCCB President’s letter (PDF)
A Wish for Peace: New video on the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon
Link to the special Webpage on Syria of Development and Peace
Link to reports by UNHCR on the Syria Regional Refugee Response