The apostolic nuncio in Syria, Archbishop Mario Zenari, told Vatican Radio this Easter Monday, that in the Yarmouk district of Damascus where the nunciature is located, there are many people starving and the number of those starving is increasing.

“This is something we cannot accept,” the nuncio said, “this is something the international community cannot accept.”

There are roughly 18,000 inhabitants in that district.

“Aid is ready," he said. "[It is] there at the gates of these villages and neighbourhoods, and because of a lack of security, humanitarian agencies are unable to enter.”

Pope Francis has frequently called for an end to the country’s violence and prayed for negotiations.

In his Urbi et Orbi address Easter Sunday, Francis appealed that “all those suffering the effects of the conflict can receive needed humanitarian aid.” He also prayed, “that neither side will again use deadly force, especially against the defenseless civil population, but instead boldly negotiate the peace long awaited and long overdue.”(D.C.L.)

Presentation of 'One of Us' Initiative

The power to eliminate unwanted children, to exploit human embryos for industrial purposes, to limit population growth in poor countries and to impose our lifestyles on them: these are the powers which we call upon you to renounce”