Help refugees fleeing Syria
Support Pope Francis's continued plea to help refugees in Europe and bring peace to Syria.

Jesuit Refugee Service is on the front lines of the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe as thousands of Syrians flee across the Mediterranean in the hopes of saving their lives.

JRS calls on the world to:

  • prioritise diplomatic efforts and apply pressure on the Syrian government and the armed opposition forces to reach a negotiated solution to the conflict. Consultation opportunities must be created for the participation of Syrian representatives from communities engaged in humanitarian assistance across social, religious and ethnic divides;
  • put pressure on all armed forces to allow humanitarian assistance for communities in need and to refrain from disrupting humanitarian operations and/or hindering the work of personnel;
  • increase financial and technical support for grassroots humanitarian initiatives serving the most vulnerable Syrians in full accordance with international humanitarian principles;
  • ensure that international development donors provide greater technical and financial support to relieve the pressure on host countries and help refugees and vulnerable local households alike. Support should be offered to help counter increasing discrimination and xenophobia towards Syrians. Refugee-hosting countries should be supported to enhance border security and ensure access to international protection for those fleeing violence and persecution in Syria; and
  • offer places to refugee households in the most vulnerable circumstances in resettlement programmes – or temporary visas – in Europe, the United States and other countries willing to share the responsibility for their protection with the immediate neighbours of Syria.
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Lebanon: xenophobia against Syrians in public schools
Beirut, 31 May 2016 – Each morning, 150 refugee children file in and out of the Jesuit Refugee Service Frans van der Lugt (JRS FVDL) remedial and early childhood educational centre in the busy Bourj Hammoud neighbourhood of Beirut, with another 150 arriving in the afternoon. The idea is to provide extra support to refugee children registered in Lebanese public schools. But in the public school system, Syrian children still find themselves facing many barriers – first and foremost: xenophobia.
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Lebanon: Syrian children need more than a traditional education
Jbeil, Lebanon, 16 December 2015 – Seven-year-old Sami* puts a toy gun to his younger brother's head. He play-shoots his other siblings as they cower to the ground. Pulling out a phone, he points to a photo of a soldier: this, he says, is who he wants to be when he grows up. Sami has seen nothing but war for most of his life. While the past is already written, the future is not. 
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Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child's eyes
Jbeil, Lebanon, 20 October 2015 – After living through the trauma of war, most Syrian children need more than a traditional education. These photos show Syrian children holding up drawings which show, in their eyes, what life was like before and after displacement.
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Syria: why people flee and why they need protection
Aleppo, 24 September 2015 – JRS Syria director, Fr Nawras Sammour, talks about what daily life in Syria is like. Impossibly high prices for food and water, daily blackouts and destroyed homes are all too common. His interview shows why Syrians flee, why they need safe and legal paths to access asylum in Europe, and above all, why they desperately need peace in order to rebuild their lives and their country.
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Lebanon: refugee children counting on school
Beirut, 16 July 2015 -- Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon aren't in school. Some have to work to pay the family bills. Others can't go to school because of transportation costs, difficulty registering, or discrimination.
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Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
Beirut, 20 March 2015 – We rang in the New Year with whatever hope we could muster from inside and out, from our families, our communities, even from our enemies. We scraped it together, and we shared it among us in small rations, barely enough to go around. We prayed and dreamed that this would be the beginning of the end of the horror; that 2015 would put the past four years behind us and bring the long-awaited end to the blood on our hands – the lost fathers, the grieving mothers, the broken children, the destroyed cities and the squandered aspirations.
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Syria: water, the simplest gift of all
Homs, 16 January 2015 – Since the ceasefire for the Old City of Homs was signed early in 2014, Homs has no longer occupied the news headlines from Syria. Recovering and restoring the Old City to any semblance of its former self will take years of reconstruction. In the meantime, those who are able to, have returned to their homes to try rebuild what has been destroyed and reclaim their property.
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Syria: cries for peace
Beirut, 2 December 2014 – On the day the United States announced they would conduct air strikes against militants in Iraq, a Syrian woman here asked a Jesuit Refugee Service staff member a seemingly simple question: "Do you think a Syrian life has less value than anyone else's?"
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Syria: examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to conflict
Syria, 13 October 2014 During the anti-apartheid years in South Africa, the phrase "strike a woman and you strike a rock" was popularised by the growing involvement of women in the struggle. In Syria, the role of women has taken on a less aggressive, but no less significant role.
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Syria: between fear of violence and the struggle to survive
Beirut, 3 October 2014 – The humanitarian crisis in two of the three principle cities in Syria has deteriorated dramatically in the last two months, according to Jesuit Refugee Service teams on the ground.
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