International Community must help Syrian refugees

2013-01-07 Vatican Radio

The Archbishop of the Principality of Andorra is appealing to the international community to support Jordan in its effort to provide hospitality and basic needs to Syrian refugees.

Archbishop Joan Enric Vives i Sicilia of Urgell, and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra made the appeal after a visit to Syrian refugees in Jordan. He is part of a delegation of bishops from Europe and North America on pilgrimage in the Holy Land in an effort to express solidarity and bring support to Christian communities across Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

A visit organised by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales with a mandate from the Holy See.

Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Tracey McClure, bishop Vives says recent events such as the recognition of Palestine as an Observer State at the United Nations has given much hope to the Palestinian people.

Listen to the interview…

Bishop Vives speaks of the difficulties of Syrian refugees in Jordan, a nation that has been offering shelter to refugees for the past 50 years.

He says first the Palestinians arrived, then the Iraqi refugees and now the Syrian refugees.

He says they are faced with many challenges including basic needs such as food and water, a proper roof over their heads, and ultimately education.

The governement is preoccupied because so many people are arriving in such a short space of time.

Bishop Vives recounts that at a meeting with a member of the Royal Family of Jordan he discovered that they have counted 250.000 people coming into the country from Syria since May, which means with summed with other refugees there are some 600,000 refugees.

He calls on the international community to help the government of Jordan in this crisis situation.