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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Vatican City, 19 February 2013 (VIS) - Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of that dicastery, are in Jordan from today until Thursday, 21 February, to participate in the regional conference of Caritas in the Middle East, North Africa, and Horn of Africa, which is taking place in that country.

The forum is a very important opportunity to take stock of the humanitarian aid provided by Catholic charities, including Caritas, to refugees and victims of violent conflict in Syria since representatives of all the Caritas organizations of that region, as well as representatives of the local churches, will be present.

"The humanitarian situation in Syria, and throughout the region," a press release from Cor Unum states, "is unsustainable. Some estimates speak of a million refugees, more than two and a half million displaced persons, and almost one hundred thousand deaths directly attributable to violence. There are countless others, whose numbers cannot be quantified, indirectly caused by the general impoverishment of the population, caused mainly by war. The harsh winter is further contributing to this sad situation of suffering of an exhausted people, especially the weakest and most vulnerable on the fringes of society."

During their trip Cardinal Sarah and Msgr. Del Toso will visit centres housing numerous persons who have escaped the fighting in Syria. The visit with the refugees will be organized by Caritas Jordan along with other Catholic charities that deal with humanitarian assistance and intervention. A meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan is also planned for the prelates.

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