Each year, Pax Christi International, a global Catholic peace movement and network that works to help establish peace, respect for human rights, justice and reconciliation in areas of the world that are torn by conflict, gives out the Pax Christi International Peace Award to honour an individual or organization taking a stand for peace in the world today.
This year’s recipient is Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) for the courageous work it is doing in war-torn Syria. The mission of JRS is to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced people, and this award recognizes its tireless efforts in providing services to vulnerable people in the midst of life-threatening violence.
Development and Peace, member of Caritas Network, has been supporting JRS over the last year in its work to provide emergency humanitarian aid to those who have been displaced within Syria. War in the country has been ongoing for the last three years, and there are now 6.5 million Syrians, or one-quarter of the population, who have been displaced by the conflict.
JRS is working in exceedingly difficult and dangerous circumstances to ensure that the most vulnerable can have access to aid. The organization strives to serve all marginalized groups, be they Muslims or Christians, and inter-religious dialogue remains at the heart of its daily activities, which promotes peace and tolerance.
With support from Development and Peace, JRS is providing the following essential needs to a total of 20,000 vulnerable Syrian displaced civilians: emergency shelter support costs; medication for chronic diseases, surgery, and hospitalization for civilians; diapers, hygiene products and nutritional supplements for children; distribution of non-food items.
Development and Peace congratulates JRS on this well-deserved award, and is proud to support the organization in its courageous efforts and its vision of peace in this war-torn region.