The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) has released their report on the crisis in Syria and surrounding areas covering the years 2011-2015. They outline the depth of the problems in the region and what CCODP and their partners have been doing to help the people affected by the crisis. The report indicates that the crisis began during the time of the Arab Spring of 2011, whose goal it was to spread democracy across the region. The result was civil war in Syria. Today many groups are fighting with each other and another group (ISIS) has arrived and is intent on taking control, of the entire region by force.
Infrastructure has been destroyed, many Syrians are fleeing their own country, host countries are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of refugees, the past two winters have been devastating. The statistics provided are shocking. For example in March 2012 there were 7,500 deaths in Syria but in March of 2015 there were 220,000. In March of 2012 there were 40,000 refugees compared to 3.75 million in March of 2015.
Development and Peace felt compelled to launch an appeal in collaboration with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to raise funds to support Syrians trapped in the calamity of war. In addition to contributions of $2.8 million from parishes, dioceses, schools, religious communities and Canadians at-large, Development and Peace has also received $11.3 million in funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and $932,000 from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB).
Development and Peace’s principal partner in Syria, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), manages to reach thousands of people despite these circumstances, and even as their own staff are directly affected by the war. JRS is providing help with lodging, educational activities for children, medication for chronic diseases, hospital access, care kits for infants, and household kits containing clothes, bed linens, kitchen supplies, and hygiene kits.
You can read the entire report by clicking here.
The website for the CCODP can be found here.