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Syria: daily life a struggle to survive Syria: daily life a struggle to survive Donor pledges must prioritise urgent humanitarian plight of displaced Syrians International: Pax Christi International Peace Award 2014 given to JRS Syria Jordan/ USA: JRS Jordan director visits US universities to raise awareness about refugees in the Middle East Jordan: an arduous and perilous journey to safety Jordan: caught between memories of the past and the reality of today Jordan: dreaming of an open Syria Jordan: empowering women Jordan: refugees helping refugees Jordan: space to be together JRS (MENA) Regional Director launches Campaign of Hope of Syrian people JRS Middle East Director visits US JRS Middle East Director visits US Lebanon: acting on Pope Francis’ call for inter-religious dialogue and cooperation Lebanon: keeping a special spirit alive Lebanon: language barriers prevent Syrian children from attending school Lebanon: Running with friends again Lebanon: space to learn Lebanon: Syrian families flee in order to protect their children Prayer for Syria: blessed are the peacemakers Six years on, Syrian people share stories of hope for the future Syria: a volunteer's experience with displaced families in Damascus Syria: amidst upheaval, the scope of services expands Syria: amidst upheaval, the scope of services expands Syria: bread and fuel shortages in Aleppo add to daily woes Syria: bringing displaced families together Syria: civilians organise a cleaning campaign in Aleppo Syria: displaced Syrians struggle to find shelter Syria: encouraging internally displaced persons to be involved in emergency assistance Syria: enduring spirit remains despite the rubble Syria: examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to conflict Syria: holding onto normality in Aleppo Syria: humanitarian situation in the region deteriorating rapidly Syria: in conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians alike Syria: in Damascus assistance continues in face of escalating violence Syria: Iraqi refugees on the sidelines of yet another conflict Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last Syria: local networks of solidarity and JRS helping displaced families Syria: resilience and hope Syria: thousands displaced after upsurge in violence in Sheikh Maqsoud Syria: turning pain into their most powerful weapon Syria: update of JRS emergency support Syria: urgent need for winter supplies Syria: urgent need for winter supplies Syria: volunteers are essential to the work of JRS Syria: water, the simplest gift of all Syria: witnessing the hope and resilience of Syrians Syria: work of Jesuit community recognised by German human rights foundation Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness USA: the Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria Video: Lebanon, space to learn World Refugee Day Middle East: beating the odds World Refugee Day statement: finding safe spaces together

JRS staff and volunteers are working around the clock to distribute emergency supplies and essential household items to displaced families in Damascus, Homs and Aleppo.
Amman, 03 August 2012 – As the Syrian crisis goes into its seventeenth month, JRS teams in cooperation with civil society volunteer networks, have stepped up their emergency responses. Yet rising displacement, insecurity and food shortages are further complicating emergency responses.

Some of the networks with which JRS is working have managed to raise funds themselves through local organisations and individuals. But with the increase of shortages, inaccessibility to major centres and a sharp rise in the number of people in need of help, funding remains an urgent necessity.

Damascus. Following the spike in violence two weeks ago in the capital city, JRS support in Damascus currently consists mainly of food distribution. Food packages, distributed by a network of volunteers, contain basic staples to sustain a family of five for 30 days.

At the end of July, many displaced people who fled fighting gathered in public parks and were sent to public schools opened by authorities to provide temporary shelter. However, most of these schools have since been closed. Some people have returned home, but others are still homeless and have returned to public parks.

On a more positive note, JRS expects its activities for children in Dwelaa and Bab Touma centres to re-open at the beginning of August. These activities focus on education as well as psychosocial support for the children.

Despite check points, blasts and food shortages, daily life appears to go on as normal during the day. But when the sun falls, the sound of fighting across the city is a sharp reminder that life is far from normality.

Aleppo. According to JRS in Damascus, communications with the city of Aleppo is at best intermittent. Internet and mobile phones have been offline since Aug 1st. Acute shortages of basic commodities include flour, gas and petrol, while electricity cuts last for several hours a day.

Last week, JRS took responsibility for the provision of shelter to more than 2,000 displaced persons in six schools, in addition to the 8,000 previously offered shelter. Some displaced families from Homs and Idleb have opted to return to their homes.

Food supplies from UN World Food Programme and the Red Crescent have been unable to reach the city and, as such, their serrvices have been halted until further notice.

At the JRS Deir Vartan centre, near to Aleppo city centre, summer activities (educational, recreational and psychosocial) for children have been stopped since 23 July. This is due to unsafe transportation routes for the children, who all come from areas of the city to the JRS centre.

Despite the difficulties, there has been a great show of solidarity from local associations, churches and networks of volunteers, who are working day and night to assist those in need.

Homs. As in Damascus, distribution of food baskets and emergency supplies is the main activity of JRS in Homs. JRS teams are also running activities in two schools for 800 children who come from Homs and the surrounding areas.

In the Jesuit Al Ard centre, outside of Homs, shelter is being offered to displaced residents from surrounding areas. At the moment, there are 50 people taking shelter. At times this number has increased to 270 people, depending on the level of violence within their areas.

How you can help?
  • Twenty-five euro a month can support one individual with basic food , hygiene and commodities (including rent.)
  • Rent costs vary but it is approximately 150 euro per month for basic accommodation for a family.
  • The average cost of providing assistance inside Syria to a family of ten for six months is 1,500 euro.
Jordan. Until now, JRS has been active in North Jordan, developing a family visits programme to Syrian refugees and distributing emergency support.

Syrian refugees were included in the JRS educational programme in Amman prior to the mobilisation of larger organisations or institutions present in Amman. However, since the UN children's fund UNICEF initiated summer catch-up classes for Syrian children, in line with the Jordanian curriculum, the number of these children in need of support from JRS has decreased.

Lebanon. Most services are being provided by local organisations. JRS is currently monitoring the situation.

Turkey. Syrian refugees are in camps close to the borders, but to date no NGOs have been granted access to them.