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    » 07/19/2013, 00.00

    SYRIA - LEBANON

    CNEWA's humanitarian fight for Syrian refugees



    The Syrian tragedy is creating tens of thousands of refugees each month. The Catholic Near East Welfare Association is active along the Lebanese border helping displaced Christian families. "In the past year, we have helped more than 11,000 families and 4,000 children," its regional director Issam Bishara told AsiaNews. "And our work goes on."

    Beirut (AsiaNews) - In the last 14 months, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has been able to reach 4,474 children and 11,152 Syrian families in need, displaced from an area that runs from ​​Homs to the Lebanese border.

    "Our program gives priority to Christian families in danger, unregistered for political reasons in the camps set up by the Red Cross or the United Nations," said CNEWA regional director Issam Bishara. "We try to rely as much as possible on Church structures in the region already active in registering displaced or isolated families."

    "In recent months," he added, "the CNEWA tried to coordinate the efforts of various international and local partners in order to be active on the ground in most regions."

    Some 4,800 Christian families from the area between ​​Homs and Wadi al-Nasara (the Valley of Christians) in western Syria were able to receive food and other aid. Some 350 families were also helped in al-Hassake; 1,850 in Damascus; 1,452 in Aleppo, plus about a thousand families isolated in the war zone.

    Unlike Turkey and Jordan, the Lebanese government officially has preferred not to recognise the existence of relief camps within its borders.

    For this reason, the Lebanese refugee camps appear more like makeshift encampments, funded by donors in the Gulf or from local parties, where humanitarian organisations operate with difficulty.

    In Lebanon, the CNEWA helped some 1,700 Christian families, Greek Catholic, Syrian, but mostly Armenians.

    "The CNEWA will continue to supply basic necessities to families that have become isolated in the region," Issam Bishara said.

    For the 2013-2014 school year, the papal agency also plans to provide school supplies to at least 1,500 children in Homs for a period of 160 days.

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    See also

    02/01/2014 LEBANON - SYRIA
    For Beirut Archbishop, Maaloula is sign of the crisis of Arab civilisation
    The nuns' abduction shows a "loss of all spiritual sensitivity by the kidnappers, who have no sense of the values ​​professed by their religion." As the conflict widens, we should be afraid that a whole generation will grow up, no longer believing in anything but money, weapons, force and domination.

    03/09/2013 SYRIA - LEBANON - VATICAN
    Muslim intellectual calls for prayer with pope for peace in Syria
    Ridwan al-Sayyid, a professor of Islamic studies in Beirut, calls on the international community to listen to the pope's words. The World Day of Prayer for Peace in Syria is "an opportunity to open the door to a peaceful solution of the conflict. Armed action in Syria will lead to a war in the Middle East."

    28/01/2013 LEBANON - SYRIA
    Christians in Syria, targeted by Islamic extremists and bombs
    Issam Bishara, head of the Syrian branch of the Papal agency that aids Catholic churches and the people of the Middle East (CNEWA) speaks: "The Christian way of life is at risk, and refugees in Lebanon are not entitled to help from the International community ". CNEWA and the local Church help over 4 thousand families who are victims of bombings, kidnappings and harassment by Islamic extremists.

    03/01/2006 LEBANON - SYRIA
    Sfeir and Ignatius IV preach peace in beleaguered Mid-East

    The Maronite Patriarch drew attention to the urgent need to distance oneself from hate and the language of death, while his Greek-Orthodox counterpart in Antioch criticized those "who preach collaboration and do nothing but commit massacres and murders".



    04/03/2005 LEBANON - SYRIA
    Lebanon becomes once again a model for the Middle East
    Druze asking Christians for forgiveness; Christians praying for Sunnis: Lebanon's peaceful revolution is a source of hope for democracy in the entire Middle East. The "land of cedars" remains the best example of coexistence in the region. But the international community is needed. Fr Samir, an Egyptian Jesuit, is a professor of the History of Arab Culture and Islamic Studies at Beirut's Saint-Joseph University.



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