In towns and cities across the country, Canadians committed to peace and justice marked the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi by offering hope to the people of Syria through prayers and solidarity.
This Day of Action and Prayer for Syria was held as part of a larger national campaign for peace in Syria which we launched in February 2016, and is part of a worldwide Caritas Internationalis campaign called “Syria: Peace is Possible”.
On this day of action, Development and Peace sent a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion calling on the government to do everything possible to:
- contribute to a lasting peace in Syria, in collaboration with Syrian civil society;
- protect civilians and ensure access to humanitarian aid; and
- promote social cohesion and self-sufficiency among Syrian refugees and host populations in neighbouring countries.
Development and Peace knows that civil society organizations, and especially women, play an essential role in peace processes, as indicated in the first recommendation. To articulate how Canada can take a leading role in including civil society in the eventual peace process in Syria, Development and Peace has published a policy position called “A Peace Process for and with Syrians: How Canada can ensure a lasting peace in Syria”. Development and Peace urges the Canadian government to consider its recommendations and start building peace in Syria from the inside.
Development and Peace has been responding to the crisis in Syria since the fall of 2012. The organization is active in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey where it has invested $24.2M in humanitarian aid and local initiatives to promote peace. Working with local partners on the ground, it has provided assistance to 600,000 Syrians.