Updated March 2016
Development and Peace has been working in the Middle East since 1967, responding to recurring humanitarian crises in the region.
Development and Peace first responded to the crisis in Syria in the autumn of 2012. As the situation continued to deteriorate, it launched an appeal in collaboration with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) in the spring of 2013 to raise funds to support Syrian refugees and those impacted by the conflict in Syria.
With Syria still in crisis, the Government of Canada announced in September 2015 that it would match donations made for relief efforts for Syrians until February 29th, 2016. With this announcement, Development and Peace launched a new joint appeal with the CCCB, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and Aid to the Church in Need to continue to support the most vulnerable Syrians caught in this crisis.
The organization has invested $25 million in humanitarian aid and local peace initiatives that have helped over 600,000 Syrians, including 20% in Syria itself. This amount includes $23 million in funding from the Canadian government.
Development and Peace is working with local partner organizations in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable affected by this crisis. As local organizations, these partners have bonds of trust with the communities they work with, allowing them to reach those who are most in need of aid.
With the influx of refugees arriving in Europe, most of whom are from Syria, Development and Peace has also contributed $50,000 towards relief efforts being put in place by Caritas Macedonia in affected countries.
Dignity is at the heart of Development and Peace’s response. It is an ongoing endeavour that relies on the solidarity of Canadians and the courage and resilience of our partners. Together, we are offering one of the small glimmers of hope in this enduring crisis.
Here are some of the projects that have been put in place:
We are working with several local organizations around Aleppo, Homs and Damascus to provide humanitarian aid, such as food, medical support, blankets, clothing and winterization materials. With the complete deterioration of the social fabric and economy of communities, needs for services are dire. As such, we are supporting projects that are f food insecurity, unemployment, psychological trauma, and focusing on the economic empowerment of women, as well as education. Lastly, we are also supporting peace initiatives that will contribute towards future reconciliation in the country.
Our partners include Jesuit Refugee Service, Caritas Syria, CRS, the Sisters of Sacred Heart and Aosus, which is working in besieged areas in Syria.
Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey
We are working with local organizations to support Syrian refugees in these countries and to address the strain it is placing on local services. The aid we are helping to provide includes the following:
• Medical and dental care;
• Psychosocial support;
• Winterization kits that include blankets, heaters, stoves and fuel;
• Supplies such as mattresses and tents;
• Hygiene kits and water and sanitation;
• Educational services, such as schooling for refugee children; literacy, continuing education and skills training for adults;
• Health awareness sessions; and
• Safe spaces for children.
Our main partners in these countries are Caritas Lebanon, Caritas Jordan, Caritas Turkey, Jesuit Refugee Service and the Good Shepherd Sisters.
Peacebuilding in the Middle East
We are also working with local organizations in the Middle East to promote peace and democracy, including Caritas Middle East and North Africa (MONA), Search for Common Ground, and a joint project between Catholic Relief Services and the group Adyan.
To learn more about Development and Peace’s response to this crisis, consult our report Crisis in Syria: Four Years of Solidarity.