Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

‘Almost no sign’ of international response – February 15th 2023

Aid to the Church in Need, February 15, 2023 (excerpts)

There is little – if any – evidence of international aid getting through to Syria, according to a Catholic charity’s projects coordinator reporting from the scene of the devastating earthquakes.

Xavier Bisits, who travelled to Aleppo within hours of the catastrophe, decried an apparent lack of international support in response to a catastrophe whose death toll has risen to at least 41,000.

Reflecting widespread dismay in Syria about the lack of aid from abroad, Mr Bisits said: “There are almost no signs of an international response – the only international volunteers I have seen personally in Syria are from Lebanon.”

The UN has criticised the regime for being slow to open border crossings to allow aid conveys into the worst-affected north-west of Syria, which is under rebel control.

Mr Bisits, who co-ordinates ACN aid in Syria, said: “Many people are in despair.”  Visiting Lattakia at the same time, Cardinal Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio to Syria stated: “After visiting Aleppo, Lattakia and Jableh, my impression can be summed up like this – I saw a sea of pain.”