Syria – Morally indefensible not to help where I can

My role, as a journalist, should be to act as a witness; to report on the situation as a bystander and then leave it as I found it,” says journalist Rachel Smalley.

“But an incident in 2013 changed my perspective on the Syrian crisis, and I now find it morally indefensible not to help where I can.” Read about Smalley’s experience in New Zealand Herald

The New Zealand government’s response to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis is gratifying.

But does that absolve us of individual our individual responsibility?

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is accepting donations to the Peace in the Middle East Fund to assist with the ongoing humanitarian response.

As with all their work and that of the entire global Caritas network, Caritas New Zealand Aotearoa provides assistance in the form of humanitarian aid, development programmes and advocacy against poverty and injustice regardless of religion.

“We have worked to help Syrian refugees since the beginning of the conflict, and Caritas is committed to continuing to provide essential supplies to those in need throughout the region,” says Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand director Julianne Hickey.

There are 1.2 million Syrian refugees living in neighbouring Lebanon.

Caritas’ work in Lebanon is part of a regional response to the crisis that includes supplying food, water and shelter to desperate refugees families in Iraq, Turkey and Jordan.

Jordan has one of the largest refugee populations in the world.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand will look to provide food, shelter, medical care, counselling, education and other aid to the thousands of displaced people.

Echoing the words of Cardinal John Dew in a recent interview, Hickey says: “The growing number of refugees around the world has created a crisis which no country or organisation committed to human rights can ignore.”

  • Since 2011, civil war in Syria has left 12.2 million people in need of assistance and created one of the largest refugee crises in history.
  • Eight million people have been forced from their homes inside Syria.
  • More than 4 million are either living in neighbouring countries, or making the perilous journey to Europe in search of a new life.
  • This is equivalent to the entire New Zealand population being displaced by war and looking for a new home.

Kiwi photographers document reality of refugee crisis

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Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development, and incorporates Mahitahi – Catholic Overseas Volunteers. We are working for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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