15 March sees the Syria crisis enter its fourth year. As the crisis continues to deepen, and the human suffering is greater than ever before, we would like to introduce you to two families who have been affected by the conflict in Syria. With money raised by CAFOD supporters across England and Wales our partner, Caritas Lebanon, is able to support Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict to Lebanon, with vital food, health and education services.
As part of the #WithSyria campaign CAFOD is calling for world leaders to find a political agreement to end the conflict.
Abir and Tony
Abir and Tony are Syrian refugees who fled to Lebanon in 2011, when the conflict intensified in their country. Thirteen months ago they had they had triplets that were born ten weeks premature. With support from CAFOD partner Caritas Lebanon and from the UN Refugee Agency – UNHCR the babies received the vital hospital care they needed, and today all three children are healthy.
Abir says: “The bill was very high because the babies were in hospital for so long. We told Caritas our story, the very next day Caritas staff went to the hospital and paid the money, I am so grateful for their kindness. I have three healthy children.”
Abir’s Husband Tony has been able to find work and the living conditions for the family are tough, the family live in one disused ground floor dark room in a building in an industrial zone of the city. “Here in Lebanon we are just surviving, we are really struggling.”
Abdulrahman and Douad
Abdulrahman and Douad live with their three children in one room in a in a semi-constructed building. They share a kitchen and bathroom with five other families. There is no proper floor – just gravel covered with tarpaulin and rugs.
Abdulrahman decided to leave with his family for Lebanon in 2012.
“Before we left we were living in a basement room to shelter from the bombs. It was four metres square, cold and dark and very unhealthy. But it was safer than our old house as it was underground – the bombing continued for one year without stopping.
“My daughter at the time was four months old. We needed milk. I had to go out to search for milk, shortages were so bad that I had to pay such a high price for one box of milk.
“I don’t even know where my extended family are or if they are alright.”