Climate change will cause greater humanitarian crises unless we act now

by Caritas Internationalis | Caritas Internationalis
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 12:00 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As violence in Syria escalates, Caritas is caring for thousands of refugees who have spilled into neighbouring countries. Caritas has been helping Syrian refugees since the crisis started in 2011. Now, Caritas is scaling up its efforts in order to serve the increasing number of families who have fled their homes. In Jordan, Caritas is providing food, medical care, and items like blankets and diapers to refugees in Mafraq, Zarqa, Madaba, and beyond. In Lebanon, Caritas has a free mobile clinic that visits Syrian refugee patients, primarily in the Bekaa Valley. Social workers from the Caritas Lebanon Migrant Centre are distributing food and emergency supplies in the refugees' makeshift tent camps, as well as to refugees living in apartments or old buildings in the Bekaa, in Beirut, and in other places. In some cases, Iraqi refugees who lived in Syria for years are now fleeing back to Iraq, where Caritas Iraq is responding to the refugee crisis. Within Syria itself, many people have been displaced or have lost their livelihoods. Caritas is providing food in Homs and Aleppo to those in need. Because there is not enough fuel, in Aleppo Caritas is providing sandwiches instead of cooked food. The distribution centres are schools and volunteers, including young scouts, are distributing the food. Overall, Caritas is helping more than 13,000 Syrians affected by the crisis. "This calamity is worsening day by day," says Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. "Caritas is striving to help the most vulnerable as we pray and act for peace. The solution is not in an all-out war, but in negotiation between the parties." For more information, contact Laura Sheahen, sheahen@caritas.va, +39 06 6987 97 52.