Help for refugees
It is the greatest refugee tragedy since the Second World War: The wars in Iraq and Syria are the cause of unimaginable suffering that doesn’t stop at the border. The German Caritas relief organisations support people directly in their countries and in neighbouring countries.
More than ten million people have been forced to flee Syria since the outbreak of civil war in 2011. Three million people have sought refuge in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. As the Islamic State (IS) militia occupied parts of northern Iraq in January 2014, spreading terror and violence, the Syrians were forced to move on. Together with its partners, the German Caritas relief organisations provide emergency and medical aid, distribute aid supplies and support schools and hospitals, amongst other things, in the countries experiencing civil war.
Vicious war threatens the work of Caritas international
Caritas international helps Syrian and Iraqi refugees, regardless of religious affiliation or nationality. The neutrality of the aid provided usually ensures a certain protection. However, in this war, even these rules do not seem to apply anymore. The work of Caritas international has been massively impeded and seriously threatened. Several Caritas social centres in Iraq have closed in the meantime, because IS units are advancing into cities and fatally threatening all those who believe or think differently. Even Caritas employees have been forced to flee. But the aid workers are continuing their work on the borders of Turkey, within the country and in Bagdad. Thanks to the solid Caritas structures in Iraq, and international support, refugee aid was able to quickly and effectively continue its work.
Great solidarity within Germany
The solidarity with Syrian and Iraqi refugees shown in Germany is substantial. Caritas international received more than 11 million euros in donations in 2014. Supplemented by public funds, Caritas has been able to help almost half a million people since the beginning of the conflict. But because the civil wars in Syria and Iraq continue, more support is needed. Whether the refugees and displaced people will be able to return to their home countries is uncertain. Caritas international will therefore remain in those countries and provide emergency aid.