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Caritas welcomes Government decision on refugee quota

Caritas welcomes Government decision on refugee quota

The Government's move to increase the number of refugees allowed into the country in the face of a public outcry has been welcomed by Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand as necessary when considering the scale of the emergency.

Since 2011, civil war in Syria has left 12.2 million people in need of assistance and created one of the largest refugee crises in history. Eight million people have been forced from their homes inside Syria and more than 4 million are either living in neighbouring countries, or making the perilous journey to Europe in search of a new life. This is equivalent to the entire New Zealand population being displaced by war and looking for a new home.

Of the 4 million refugees, approximately 1.2 million are living in neighbouring Lebanon where Caritas has been supporting Syrian refugees through development and humanitarian aid programmes since the outbreak of the conflict.

Caritas' work in Lebanon is part of a regional response to the crisis that includes supplying food, water and shelter to desperate refugees families in Iraq, Turkey and Jordan.

With one of the largest refugee populations in the world living in Jordan, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand will look to provide food, shelter, medical care, counselling, education and other aid to the thousands of displaced people in the country as part of their Peace in the Middle East campaign.

"We have worked to help Syrian refugees since the beginning of the conflict, and Caritas is committed to continuing to provide essential supplies to those in need throughout the region," says Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand director Julianne Hickey.

Echoing the words of Cardinal John Dew in a recent interview, Mrs Hickey says: "The growing number of refugees around the world has created a crisis which no country or organisation committed to human rights can ignore."

Donations to the Peace in the Middle East Fund are now being accepted to assist with the ongoing humanitarian response.

Donations Website: www.caritas.org.nz


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