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Christian charity calls on international community to unite in aiding Syria’s humanitarian crisis

Up to 33 per cent of the Syrian population is thought to be living below the poverty line as a result of the war which broke out nine years ago. Since December, around one million people, many of them Christians and children, have been displaced from the north-western city of Idlib, where rebel fighters still have a strong hold.


John Pontifex from Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) told PremierChristian numerous hospitals and schools there have been reduced to rubble due to the fighting. This coupled with a mass exodus of people as made the situation “dire” for those who have remained.

“People have become desperate. The level of help that the United Nations needs to provide is absolutely critical,” he said.

Pontifex went on to explain that a number of Christian charities such as ACN have had to step in where support has been lacking:

“We are a pastoral organisation supporting the needs of the church, but the bishops and other project partners have said to us, please, please, please, we need urgent help. This is food, medicine, milk. These are basic things that we need and if you don’t provide them, we just don’t know what the future will hold.”

A lack of infrastructure and government hostility to outside help has made getting aid into the country challenging. Pontifex has encouraged the international community to unite in tackling the Syrian crisis.

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Azraq refugee camp, Jordan. A year after opening, this camp billed as a model for sheltering Syrian war refugees has emerged as a mixed blessing: Azraq offers safety and order, with its more than 10,000 prefab shelters arranged in tidy rows, but refugees say life is barely tolerable because of lack of electricity, jobs and freedom of movement. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

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