Conflict in Syria entering its sixth year: Development and Peace – Caritas Canada stresses the importance of workers and partners in the field | Development and Peace

Conflict in Syria entering its sixth year: Development and Peace – Caritas Canada stresses the importance of workers and partners in the field

March 15, 2017

On March 15, 2017, a day that sadly marks the sixth anniversary of the outbreak of the war in Syria, we wish to acknowledge the outstanding work of our partners and humanitarian workers in Syria and neighbouring countries, who work tirelessly to provide support and restore dignity to people in need. Their efforts, courage, and perseverance make the mission of Development and Peace possible and for this, we express our heartfelt THANKS.

With an estimated 13.5 million people in Syria in need of humanitarian assistance, 6.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), and another 5 million who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, the conflict in Syria has provoked the largest humanitarian crisis in the world since the Second World War.

Unfortunately, the situation in which we are implementing our programs is very unstable, and as a result, our partners are often forced to interrupt their activities and services when they are needed most.

Despite these constraints, our network of local, regional, and international partners continues to make a difference to those in need. This is why it is important for us, today, to pay tribute to the women and men in the field, who in spite of daily challenges, continue to bring assistance and comfort to thousands of families.

At Development and Peace, as within our Caritas network, we believe that Peace is Possible in Syria, but to succeed, we must all do what we can.

We thank all those who have been supporting our work for six years, be it through their donations or their involvement in Development and Peace. Finally, we thank the Government of Canada for the trust shown to our organization and for their generous funding, which supports our programs in the region.

Ode to Joy in Syria

The lost children of Aleppo


The following are a few examples of projects that we carried out with our partners over the past year to meet the needs of the victims of the conflict in Syria and neighbouring countries.

Darna Centres – Economic empowerment of women

 Darna Centres – Idlib, Syria

Six years of war and displacement have fundamentally changed gender roles and responsibilities, in both Syria and neighbouring countries. Before the Syrian crisis, women’s participation in the economy, was relatively low (estimated at 22% in 2010). However with the war, and while continuing to care for the children and other family members needing special care, Syrian women have assumed greater responsibility for income generation and ensuring that the family’s basic needs are met.

We are building women’s resilience in Idlib by ensuring that they have the tools they need to take advantage of job opportunities. The Darna Centres we are supporting offers vocational training, psychosocial support, computer and literacy classes to 1,500 women.

Read the testimonials of two participants of the Darna Centers


As part of our Peace is Possible in Syria campaign, Development and Peace partner Rand Sukhaita, Director for the Darna Centres in Syria, appeared as a witness to the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 9th in Ottawa to discuss the Darna Centres in Syria. Rand focused on the women she works with, who are community-builders and peace-builders. Download her testimony here.


Medical Assistance

 Mobile clinics allows to reach both refugees and more remote communities

The refugee healthcare situation in Lebanon remains critical. Unable to access the Lebanese health system, refugees must often rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their health care needs. In this context, Development and Peace has been able to support a project that provides primary and secondary health care, as well as psychosocial assistance to 21,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. The project underwrites the work of a team of healthcare professionals who operate seven clinics in different parts of the country, as well as two mobile clinics, which serve both refugees and more remote communities. The past year, our partners provided 81,000 preventative and curative services to 21,000 refugees with a specific focus on women and children.



Give now

After working in extremely difficult conditions for six years, humanitarian workers are exhausted. In this time of Lent, let us extend our help and comfort to those who are in dire need, and let us join our voices with thousands more to say loud and clear that in
Syria peace is possible.