Quake damage in Chile emerging as Caritas aid gets through

by Caritas Internationalis | Caritas Internationalis
Monday, 12 November 2012 13:19 GMT

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

Caritas Syria is struggling to meet people's needs as the conflict situation in the country worsens. More than a year of conflict has left over one million people displaced in the country. Three hundred thousand have fled Syria, giving rise to increasing humanitarian needs across the region. Pascal Kateb, Director of Caritas Syria said, "The situation for Syrian people is dramatic . We need to do more to help as the humanitarian needs are increasing daily. Although we do our best we are not able to meet all the needs of the people who seek our help." Caritas is reinforcing its response in all countries bordering Syria with particular focus on operations in Lebanon and Jordan. However, the increasing flow of refugees cannot be absorbed or integrated without straining the resources of the host communities. Life for most Syrians is very difficult, but Caritas is particularly concerned about the long-term effects on children and their education. The school year just started but schools are doubling up as places of refuge for the displaced. "What happens in some schools ," explains Pascal Kateb, "is that the children follow lessons in the morning but in the afternoon and evening the same building must shelter people. It is a terrible situation, the children are lacking all basic school materials and we are looking for new donors to cover expenses for all Syrian children." Caritas Syria's main focus now and the prime humanitarian challenge is to adapt the hosting conditions of thousands of families that have been displaced to the difficulties of the forthcoming winter. The solidarity and hospitality demonstrated by the receiving countries has been remarkable nevertheless the international community needs to step up its efforts if they are to meet or maintain the basic needs required by the refugees. Please contact Valerie Kaye for more information on +39 06 6987 9757 or kaye@caritas.va.