Charitable Organizations To Meet in Rome to Discuss Syria

Church Leaders and Charities To Decide How to Respond to Conflict

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Charitable organizations operating in Syria will gather at the Vatican to address how to best operate in the midst of the nation’s crisis, the Vatican has announced.

The meeting on Friday, hosted by the Pontifical Council «Cor Unum», aims to evaluate the work carried out so far by Catholic charitable organizations in the Syrian crisis, highlight critical themes that have emerged, and identify future priorities.

The Vatican says it will offer a valuable opportunity for the Syrian church, the Vatican, political and charitable leaders to speak to charities. Also it will provide a forum to examine efforts thus far and to discuss how to best collaborate going forward.

The Syrian crisis has so far claimed around 160,000 victims, driven more than two million refugees across its borders, mostly into countries in the Middle East and Mediterranean area, and has displaced more than 6 million within the country. The country is now at the centre of attention of the international community owing to the prolonged and grave humanitarian crisis resulting from the war.

The Vatican says the dicastery’s initiative for the meeting shows the Holy See’s commitment to actively participating in aid and humanitarian assistance programmes, seen by its diplomatic activity via its network of nunciatures, relations with local Churches and work of Catholic charitable agencies.

Supported by 25 organisations, thw conference will begin with a welcome from President of “Cor Unum» Cardinal Robert Sarah and will be followed by discourses from Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria Archbishop Mario Zenari, and President of Caritas Syria Bishop Antoine Audo.

Afterward, a presentation will highlight the activities carried out in the information office in Beirut, established last year to collect and distribute data on the work of Catholic bodies.

In the afternoon, participants will focus on concrete aspects of the collaboration between the various actors in Syria and in neighbouring countries. (D.C.L.)

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