Syrian crisis fourth anniversary: meet two families who fled to Lebanon

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.

Sign the #WithSyria petition today

Abir and Tony

Abir, Tony and their triplets
Abir, Tony and their triplets

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.  Continue reading “Syrian crisis fourth anniversary: meet two families who fled to Lebanon”

Gaza crisis: six months on

Tuw Feq El Qarraa: "The support has helped me to go back to how it was before the war."
Tuw Feq El Qarraa: “The support has helped me to go back to how it was before the war.”

Six months since the beginning of the 2014 conflict in Gaza, Claire Grant from CAFOD’s Humanitarian team reflects on the difference made by donations from Catholics in England and Wales.

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Everyone in Gaza has a story. A story of longstanding hardship, of uncertainty, of loss and of hard-earned survival.

The 50 days of conflict last summer – which gave rise to Israeli bombardments, Palestinian rocket attacks and ground fighting – took their toll, killing more than 2,200 people, destroying over 20,000 homes and countless livelihoods. More than 2,000 of these people were Palestinian civilians, including 519 children.

In December, the media pictures of the destruction became real to me as I travelled to Gaza to meet families and communities supported by CAFOD, who each had their own personal stories to tell.

Building back

The Gaza Strip is merely 25 miles in length and seven miles wide. A short drive is therefore all that it takes to get an accurate picture of the devastation that shook the region to its core this summer.

My first meeting was with a young father, Mohammed Abu Anzah, who had been forced to flee his land with his family when his house was destroyed during aerial bombardments. He has now returned to his land, and I found him hard at work with a team of local labourers who had been funded by CAFOD to rehabilitate the area.

Standing beside his two little daughters, who were playing amongst the debris and building material, Mohammed told me how grateful he was that he can now plant olive trees, beans and chickpeas, which he will sell at the market. He is also building back his house. Continue reading “Gaza crisis: six months on”