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Jesuit Refugee Service Calls for Safe Passage, Security for Civilians in Aleppo

December 29, 2016 — The people of Aleppo, Syria, continue to live in an environment of violence even as more people are evacuated from Foah and Kafraya to shelters in the Jibreen areas, reports Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).


Jesuit Refugee Service in Aleppo partners with the Palestine Red Crescent Society and UNHCR to distribute food aid and other basic items to the displaced families in the Mahalej-Jibreen area. (Jesuit Refugee Serivce)

“We have witnessed the influx of thousands of civilians fleeing from the eastern parts to western Aleppo and other 'safer' areas of Syria,” wrote Jesuit Father Michael Zammit, Regional Director for JRS Middle East, in December. “As in the case of most forcibly displaced persons, they had to flee leaving all their material possessions behind. All of them arrive in these ‘safer’ areas in dire straits.”  

The displaced people have had almost no access to medical help, and a bitterly cold winter has already set in, making life for them even more miserable.  

JRS Syria, and particularly JRS Aleppo, have been responding in several different ways to the displaced and other affected people. Working in tandem with other local NGOs, they have been doing needs assessments, providing blankets and distributing some food, water and medical supplies to the neediest among the displaced. The JRS Aleppo team has been reaching out in the face of great risks to themselves and to their families.  


Jesuit Refugee Service in Aleppo partners with the Palestinian Red Crescent to distribute aid to the displaced of Aleppo, Syria. (Jesuit Refugee Service)

JRS has been consistent in its stand in condemning every form of violence. “We once again call upon all factions concerned to ensure that the current cessation of hostilities is a permanent one. We also call upon those concerned to guarantee safe passage and security to all civilian population and to ensure that they have easy access to humanitarian aid,” wrote Fr. Zammit. 

“Above all, we hope and pray for immediate and lasting peace — for the people of Aleppo and for all of Syria.”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis sent a letter earlier this month to the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, appealing for “an end to the violence and the peaceful resolution of hostilities” in the country. He also urged the Syrian leader to “ensure that international humanitarian law is fully respected with regard to the protection of the civilians and access to humanitarian aid.”

You can support JRS efforts to help the affected in Aleppo and other regions of Syria by clicking here. [Sources: JRS, JRS/USA]





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