Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Catholic humanitarian organisations have allocated US$ 72 million to cope with the crisis in Syria and neighbouring regions, with help sent to 20 Syrian cities. Aid was also delivered to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Cyprus, and Egypt.
"These are the data recorded on 9 October, as a result of the mapping of aid distributed in Syria, carried out following the meeting for the co-ordination of Catholic charitable associations present in the Syrian situation, convened by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum from 4 to 5 June 2013," the Council said in a statement. Altogether, "55 entities [are] working in the field [. . .] and 32 Catholic institutions [are] involved so far".
In the same statement, the Council noted that "Until now, the difficulty of obtaining information regarding the needs of the population affected and the development of the political and social population has led to the sometimes sporadic nature of the aid given, and to a multiplicity of forms of support to the institutions present in the field."
Hence, the decision was taken to create "an office for co-ordinating information on the humanitarian aid allocated by the Catholic Church, with the aim of avoiding the dispersal of efforts and ensuring a homogeneous approach. Management activity was entrusted to Caritas Middle East-North Africa, based in Beirut; it will have the task of appraising and monitoring the extent of the aid gathered, and of sharing necessary information with all the institutions involved, including those not present at the Cor Unum meeting.
"This tool will allow the Church to obtain a complete picture of humanitarian aid efforts, with the intention of providing a detailed analysis of the needs in the field; to transfer to Caritas Syria the information necessary on charitable works in aid of the Syrian population; to highlight the profile of the Catholic Church among those involved in the humanitarian sector in Syria, and to share information within the network of Catholic organisations involved, both inside and outside Syrian territory."