view all campaigns

Campaign Stories
  Acting on Pope Francis' call for inter-religious cooperation in the Middle East
  Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian refugee child's eyes
  Dialogue is the Solution in Syria, not War
  Displaced by conflict in Syria, refugee helps others
  Examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to the conflict in Syria
  Families flee Syria to protect their children
  In Syria conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians
  Jesuit priest: people of Homs hunger for normality
  Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria
  Jesuit Refugee Service Syria staff stand together in serving the displaced
  Jordan: accompaniment comes first for refugees
  Jordan: eat dust here or die in Syria
  Jordan: living in the shadow of Syria's crisis
  JRS in Iraq as winter imperils displaced families
  JRS Jordan director visits U.S. universities, parishes
  JRS urges Australia, U.S. to increase humanitarian intake
  Lebanon: educational boost for refugee children
  Lebanon: families from Syria seek safety, shelter
  Lebanon: JRS offers hope through education
  Lebanon: space for refugees from Syria to learn
  Lebanon: Syrian children need more than a traditional education
  Lebanon: Syrian refugee children counting on school
  Middle East: updates from JRS
  On the Anniversary of the War in Syria, JRS Calls for Renewed Attention
  Pope urges concrete help for refugees
  Syria: between fear of violence and the struggle to survive
  Syria: bringing families together
  Syria: daily life a struggle to survive
  Syria: amidst upheaval, JRS expands services
  Syria: enduring spirit remains despite the rubble
  Syria: five years on, time for diplomacy to deliver
  Syria: food & fuel shortages add to daily woes
  Syria: interfaith family volunteers in Aleppo
  Syria: JRS refugee center destroyed, our work continues
  Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
  Syria: maintaining normalcy in Aleppo
  Syria: Refugees from Iraq on the sidelines of yet another conflict
  Syria: Restoring hope
  Syria: shelter and food difficult to find
  Syria: turning pain into their most powerful weapon
  Syria: urgent need for winter supplies
  Syria: violence in Damascus fuels hopelessness, fear
  Syria: When Hope Returns – Rama’s Story
  Syria: why people flee and why they need protection
  Syrian refugees face food cuts in Jordan, Lebanon
  Water is a precious gift in Syria
  Witnessing the hope and resilience of Syrians
Connect with us
Preparing food in the field kitchen, Jesuit Refugee Service teams can deliver up to 16,000 meals a day for displaced persons in Aleppo, Syria. (Sedki Al Imam and Avo Kaprealian — JRS)

(Beirut) April 12, 2013 – Thousands of people living in the predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo were displaced last week following a surge in violence in the northern city.

According to Mahdi*, a Jesuit Refugee Service Aleppo outreach team member, many Kurdish residents have gone to their home villages outside of the city, and Christians have fled into other Christian areas in Aleppo. However, Mahdi expressed particular concern for the fate of those who have nowhere familiar or safe to go.

"We came across approximately 300 people in a park who had fled Sheikh Maqsoud. Fortunately, they weren't physically injured. We've given them hygiene kits, and are providing them with hot meals every day from the field kitchen," said Mahdi.

"Although Spring has arrived and the necessity to house displaced persons in heated shelters is no longer as pressing, there is now a shortage of mattresses and tents. Rather than sleeping in public buildings, many people prefer sleeping in parks because of the softer bedding."

The JRS field kitchen makes up to 16,000 hot meals a day which are then distributed to mosques, school-shelters, public buildings and to other displaced persons who do not have the facilities to cook hot food themselves.

"We now have the capacity to make as many as 300 more meals within a short period of time. Trying to respond quickly is the least we can do."

This latest displacement comes at a time when the situation in Aleppo continues to deteriorate. Electricity and telecommunications grids were down for most of last week, further complicating the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance. The water supply to most areas in the city has also been drastically reduced, and in some cases cut completely.

"It feels like we are living in an open-air prison", said Lamis*, a JRS volunteer, of the inhabitants of Aleppo.

Moreover, the latest devaluation of Syrian currency is likely to lead to further drastic increases in inflation. According to JRS staff, inflation last year in Aleppo reached 300 percent. Further price increases will drive ordinary Syrians deeper into poverty.

Despite these difficult conditions and the harsh impact of the conflict on the lives of civilians, JRS continues to provide emergency food and materials assistance, as well as educational and psychosocial support.

You can help to support the work of JRS in Syria by making a secure online donation now. Click here.

by Zerene Haddad
Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East and North Africa

*These names have been changed for reasons of security.

  Follow Me on Pinterest

Countries Related to this Region
United States of America