COMECE calls the EU to promote long term resilience in Syria
COMECE urges the EU to support Syrian people to overcome their immediate humanitarian needs and to promote their long term resilience. The call came on Wednesday 3 April 2019 during the conference “The next day in Syria: a path towards the resilience of Syrian people” co-organised at the European Parliament by COMECE and its ecumenical and political partners.
After six years of war, people in Syria and in neighboring countries are facing enormous challenges. According to the UN Refugees Agency, over 5.6 million people fled Syria since 2011, while 6.6 millions more are displaced inside the country suffering lack of general security and access to basic services and goods, including healthcare, education, water, food and electricity.
During the conference, COMECE highlighted the specific responsibility of the EU to safeguard Syria’s cultural and religious diversity, while supporting reconstruction of infrastructures and the renewal of life in the country in order to allow Syrians to remain or voluntary return to their homeland.
Mgr. John Darwish, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Zahle and Forzol (Lebanon), stated that “Churches are relevant actors to support people and promote peace and reconciliation in Syria”. Fr. Andrzej Halemba, Head of Projects for the Middle East of the Pontifical Foundation "Aid to the Church in Need" called the EU “to assess the impact of some of its sanctions on Syria and to avoid harming the weakest”.
COMECE calls the future EU leaders, to be elected during the 2019 European Elections, to give priority to the needs of the Syrian people by recognising Churches as reliable partners in humanitarian and development aid.