Development and Peace is increasing its aid to those affected by the crisis in Syria, both within the country and in countries that have taken in refugees. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFADT) has contributed $6.2 million towards Development and Peace’s work in the region. This is in addition to $11 million already contributed by DFADT. Development and Peace has also committed $1.2 million of its own funds to support local organizations in providing help and services.
This crisis, which is now in its 5th year, has created huge humanitarian needs. There are currently close to 4 million Syrian refugees who are being hosted mainly by Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, and over 7 million who are displaced from their homes within Syria.
Development and Peace is continuing its partnership with Caritas Lebanon and Caritas Jordan to support Syrian refugees. In Lebanon, mobile medical clinics are responding to the unmet healthcare needs of refugees, particularly those not living in camps. In Jordan, welcome centres are providing guidance and services to newly-arrived refugees as a means to help them settle.
In addition, Development and Peace is supporting the work of psycho-social center, a group in Turkey that is helping refugee children with their education, and helping families cope with their difficult circumstances.
Within Syria, Development and Peace has extended the scope of its work significantly. It is working with several organizations to provide aid and be in solidarity with those living through this brutal conflict. With these partners, which include amongst others, Jesuit Refugee Service Syria, Kesh Malek and the Sacred Heart Sisters, Development and Peace is providing services such as:
- Accompaniment for people with mental disabilities;
- Support to schools so they can remain open;
- Vocational training and support to women who have been displaced;
- Support to small-scale farmers so they do not lose their crops;
- Help with housing;
- Distribution of household items such as clothes, bed linens, kitchen supplies, and hygiene kits;
- Medication for chronic diseases and hospital access.
“As this crisis is worsening, we felt we needed to move beyond merely meeting the basic needs of the population, and start addressing the long-term psychological impacts of this conflict. When people can work, go to school and feel a sense of community it gives hope that there is a future,” says Guy Des Aulniers, International Emergency Relief Coordinator at Development and Peace. “The partner organizations we work with show extreme courage and we want to support them as best we can.”
Development and Peace has raised close to $3 million from the Canadian public for this crisis, and is continuing to accept donations.
Donations can be made by telephone (1 888 664-3387), on our website or by sending a cheque made out to Development and Peace (please indicate Syria Crisis) to:
Development and Peace
1425 René-Lévesque Blvd. West 3rd Floor
Montreal QC H3G 1T7
In solidarity with the people of Syria, the organization has also launched a petition calling on the Canadian government to support a negotiated and inclusive peaceful solution to the conflict.
To learn more about the work of Development and Peace in Syria and to sign the petition, visit www.devp.org/syria.