Homs (Agenzia Fides) – Wednesday, March 15 marks the sixth anniversary of the conflict in Syria. And contrary to what is reported by international media, Syria "continues to suffer." This is the key message that the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) wanted to publish through a dossier that contains a lot of data related to the situation. On Tuesday afternoon, March 14 - reads the report by Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ - "A bomb blast in the city of Homs killed one and injured several. On March 12th, a double bombing near a popular Shiite shrine in Damascus killed over fifty and scores more were left injured. Since December, the eastern areas of Aleppo have been evacuated, but the bombings continue".
Today – reads the document, sent to Agenzia Fides "an estimated 13.5 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance and children make up half of that number. Children have lost their childhood; nearly 3 million Syrian children under five have grown up knowing nothing but conflict. More than 6.3 million people are internally displaced within Syria. About 4.9 million others (the majority women and children) have fled to neighbouring countries in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. These have put the host communities under huge strain as they shoulder the social, economic and political fallout. Hundreds of thousands have made perilous sea voyages seeking sanctuary; no one is sure how many may have died at sea".
The big powers and the wide range of vested interests particularly the military-industrial complex - says the JRS document "continue to play havoc with lives and destinies of the Syrians. There are 'peace talks' which take place among the 'big guys'; not too many however, place too much of hope on them.
In Damascus and Homs, JRS operates education centres in parallel with child protection programs and psychosocial care for children and adults, and will launch a campaign to highlight the stories of Syrians living both inside and outside of the country. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 15/03/2017)