In response to the ongoing violent conflict in Syria, which has caused the death of more than 400,000 people and displaced millions of Syrians, JRS is helping refugees build new lives.
After almost seven years of confict, the suffering of people there continues with no end in sight. Harsh weather conditions and limited access to basic resources gravely affect displaced families and individuals. Making ends meet is a daily struggle for both the displaced within Syria and those who have fled the country and sought refuge elsewhere. Sizeable sections of them are living in extreme poverty, unable to secure food, water, or medical provisions.
Delivering humanitarian aid to war-affected populations within Syria is still an urgent issue. There is also the ongoing concern that some neighbouring countries are unable to provide adequate assistance to meet the basic needs of refugees. This lack of assistance threatens the safety of vulnerable people and the stability and security of the region.
"With some of the neighbouring countries having closed their borders to refugees, vulnerable people inside Syria are trapped and unable to flee. Those outside of Syria often face serious difficulties registering as refugees. This lack of protection leaves those Syrians most in need even more at risk,” says Fr Thomas H. Smolich SJ, JRS International Director.
An estimated 13.5 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance, and children make up half of that number. More than six million people are internally displaced within Syria; others have fled to neighbouring countries in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq. While many have sought refuge in Europe, Canada and the United States, only a small percentage have actually been welcomed.
With its mission to serve those most in need, JRS was in Syria before the crisis began, working with Iraqis and other refugees there. Despite the challenges, JRS has stayed the course during the six years of conflict. JRS continues to address urgent needs while advocating for and with Syrians, advocating for life with dignity.
In Damascus and Homs, JRS operates education centres in parallel with child protection programs and psychosocial care for children and adults. In Aleppo, JRS teams provide those most vulnerable with emergency humanitarian assistance of food baskets and non-food items. When medical facilities in Aleppo came under ferocious bombardments, JRS continued to provide health services.
In Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Europe, JRS works with hundreds of refugees who have fled Syria, providing them with emergency assistance as well as ongoing educational and psychosocial support.
Iraq: Determined to build a new life Erbil, 02 May 2017 - There is a steely determination in Zozan. As you listen to this 25-year old woman, you know she will go places. She shares what she would like to do most in life: to learn new languages and to travel to distant lands. Read More >>>
Iraq: Becoming self-reliant Erbil, 1 April 2017 - Avin has turned her back on the hate and violence, which she and her family have had to experience for a good part of the war in Syria since 2011. Avin was born and brought up in a Kurdish town of Qamishlo in north –east Syria, not far from the Turkish border. These past years have been very difficult for the inhabitants of the town. Read More >>>
Jordan: Dreaming a future in a foreign land Amman, 28 March 2017 - Al Marekh is a suburb of Amman in Jordan. Today it is home to several refugees from Palestine, Iraq, and Syria. Rentals for accommodation are not as high here as in the central areas of the city, but they keep escalating every year. Read More >>>
Jordan: A ray of hope Al-Hussein, 24 March 2017 - ‘Aisha’ is a special name in the Arab world and has a range of meanings from ‘she who lives’ to ‘philosophical one’. When Aisha was born eighteen years ago in Homs in Syria, she was a gift to her parents. As she grew up, she had dreams and hopes for a good education, a happy family, and a comfortable and prosperous life. Read More >>>
Lebanon: School allows students to dream of the future Bourj Hammoud, 22 March 2017 – My name is Mariyam and I am from Syria. I was born on July 11th, 2000 in Idlib, Jisr El Shughour. I studied up to first grade in Idlib. I was very young when I had to leave my classes and my relatives to move to Damascus, Duma, because of my father’s work. We were surprised by what we found. Read More >>>
Jesuit Refugee Service
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