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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
  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: thousands more displaced by violence in Aleppo
  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
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Seven years later, the situation in Syria is still dramatically unstable. The Syrian people need peace.

Washington, DC, 15 March 2018 - Today, the Syrian conflict enters its 8th year. Despite desperate need for peace, the situation in Syria remains dramatically unstable and leaves its people suffering. New violence throughout the country reminds us of the need to commit attention and resources to helping our brothers and sisters caught in this horrific conflict. 

"Death is falling from the sky, at random…and we are powerless to stop it," describes one JRS Syria staff member of the current situation. Damascus continues to be under fire, with hundreds dying from mortar shells. Afrin, an area that was already hosting a very high number of displaced people, is now a place from which thousands of people are fleeing, and with nowhere to go. In eastern Ghouta, hundreds of thousands of people are trapped under fire. JRS Syria staff indicate that because of the current violence, people who in the past were determined to remain in Damascus or Syria now feel that they have no option but to flee and seek refuge elsewhere. But, with borders remaining closed, it is difficult to leave. 

"JRS is profoundly concerned by the current situation. In the last few weeks we have had to suspend some of our activities or curtail the scope of the work we do in some cases. This clearly has had a negative effect on those whom we seek to serve," says Nawras Sammour SJ, Regional Director, JRS Middle East. "It is heartwarming to note that, despite the great risks involved, our JRS team members continue to reach out to those affected by the conflict. Our fervent prayer and hope is that violence by all the warring factions will cease immediately, and that normalcy, security, and sustainable peace for all will return to Damascus and every part of our long-suffering nation." 

For many, the challenges extend beyond trying to escape conflict, with exorbitant housing costs, high unemployment rates, and limited access to essential services such as health and education. And, those who do manage to cross the border, face their own set of problems. Families have been separated, resources are sparse, and the opportunity for resettlement is nearly impossible. Countries like Lebanon are strapped for resources, having taken on 1.5 million Syrian refugees, the highest number of refugees per capita in the world, and other donor governments and institutions have not fully lived up to their commitments. 

"We hope that donors and institutions, including the United States Government, recommit to the Syrian people and to the innocent victims of a horrific war," says Giulia McPherson, JRS/USA Director of Advocacy and Operations. "As we enter another year of conflict in Syria, we are reminded that these commitments have impacts on an entire generation of children, and we must do more to respond." 

The resources and support of host and donor government and institutions have real impact on refugees, like Amira. Amira managed to escape to Lebanon, but she is separated from members of her family and she struggles to get by. More than a year ago she received a call from UNHCR confirming that her application for resettlement had been received; she is still waiting for a place. Amira is so desperate that sometimes she thinks of trying to get into a boat headed for Europe to bring her family together again, but she does not want to risk her children's lives. 

To help refugees like Amira and the millions of others from Syria, JRS is calling for: 

  • An end to the war and to the deaths of innocent civilians. 
  • The international community, including the United States Government, to share responsibility for the support of Syrian refugees living in host countries through robust humanitarian assistance. Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries must enjoy safety and decent living conditions. 
  • Donors and hosting governments to live up to their commitments to provide access to quality education for all Syrian children.(click here to learn more).
  • The U.S. to live-up to its current commitments to resettle refugees, including Syrians, and to increase the number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S. this Fiscal Year. The U.S. must also not put up barriers for entry such as the "travel ban."


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