Because of this, the Pope said he will never tire of asking the international community "for greater and renewed efforts to achieve peace throughout the Middle East, and of asking not to look the other way."
"This request is my daily prayer to God, to inspire the minds and hearts of all who have political responsibility, that they may be able to renounce their own interests in order to achieve the greater good: peace," he said.
Francis also noted that while political leaders certainly play a key role, it is also the responsibility of each individual to commit to being a peacemaker in their own way, "because every situation of violence and injustice is a wound to the body of the whole human family."
Turning to the Christians in the Middle East who suffer violence and uncertainty, the Pope insisted that in the midst of "so much darkness, these Churches hold high the lamp of faith, hope and charity," and assured them of his closeness and prayer.
He entrusted these communities and those who work on the ground serving the victims of the humanitarian crisis to the intercession of newly-canonized St. Teresa of Calcutta, whom he called an "exemplar of charity and mercy."
According to statistics from Cor Unum, the ecclesial network in Iraq and Syria has comprehensively reached more than 9 million individual beneficiaries from 2015-2016.
In 2015, roughly $207 million in humanitarian aid was raised, while as of July, 2016 has yielded $196 million. Since 2011, the crisis in both countries has left around 300,000 people dead and 1 million wounded.
Currently in Syria there are more than 13.5 million people in need of aid, and more than 10 million in Iraq. According to Cor Unum, the number of internal refugees in Syria is 8.7 million while in Iraq the number is 3.4 million, with 4.8 million Syrians having fled to surrounding countries of the Middle East, most significantly in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.