Vatican City, 28 May 2014 (VIS) –On Friday 30 May the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” will hold a meeting between Catholic charitable organisations working in the context of the crisis in Syria. The meeting, which receives the support of 25 organisations, will be divided into two phases. In the morning, following the introduction from Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of “Cor Unum”, there will be discourses from Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin; Archbishop Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio in Syria; and Bishop Antoine Audo, president of Caritas Syria, after which they will present the activities carried out in the information office in Beirut, established last year to collect and distribute data on the work of Catholic bodies. In the afternoon they will focus on concrete aspects of the collaboration between the various actors in Syria and in neighbouring countries.
The aim of the meeting is to evaluate the work carried out so far by Catholic charitable organisations in the context of the crisis, highlighting the critical themes that have emerged and identifying future priorities.
Syria is at the centre of attention of the international community owing to the prolonged and grave humanitarian crisis resulting from the war. The Holy See, along with its diplomatic activity through the network of nunciatures, relations with local Churches and the work of Catholic charitable agencies, actively participates in aid and humanitarian assistance programmes. According to available data, the crisis has so far claimed around 160,000 victims, has driven more than two million refugees across its borders, mostly into countries in the Middle East and Mediterranean area, and has displaced more than 6 million within the country.