Washington D.C., Mar 15, 2016 / 02:12 am
March 15 marks five years since civil war broke out in Syria. The conflict has had devastating consequences for the people of the country, many of whom have been forced to flee.
Since 2011, Catholic Relief Services has helped to assist more than 1 million Syrians in the Middle East and Europe who have been affected by the war. The following Q-and-A is offered by Kevin Hartigan, who serves as CRS' regional director for the Middle East.
Q: What would you consider to be the most pressing needs of Syrian refugees at this stage in the conflict?
The priority needs remain food, shelter and health care, but most refugee families are also desperate to find a means of earning their livelihood and a way to educate their children. After five years of war, most Syrian refugees have exhausted their resources and are barely getting by on humanitarian aid, support from distant family members, and marginal income from informal labor. Meanwhile, the number of displaced Syrians continues to grow rapidly, most recently as a result of current fighting in Aleppo.