Caritas Luxembourg has been providing aid since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011. This conflict has caused one of the most catastrophic humanitarian emergencies in the world, forcing 5.6 million Syrians to flee to neighbouring countries and displacing 6 million vulnerable people inside the country.

Each of these people has real and urgent needs. The needs of refugees and displaced persons far exceed the resources available locally to help them, and most of them are surviving in poor conditions, struggling day to day to meet their basic needs, with the COVID pandemic and recession continuing to make more and more citizens vulnerable.

Most displaced people are traumatized by the conflict. They need protection from abuse, exploitation and violence, and require psychological support. The traumatic injuries caused by the ongoing violence make it impossible for many people to rebuild their lives, especially if they lack essential items such as shelter, food and basic essentials. The situation has disrupted the economy and many have lost their jobs, market opportunities and possessions. Households are almost entirely dependent on external assistance. With the decline in international aid, coping strategies are forcing people to live on a day-to-day basis.

Caritas Luxembourg, with the financial support of the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, is involved in several regions of Syria through various emergency and reconstruction projects. In this respect, Caritas Luxembourg mainly provides food boxes, meals, shelter and hygiene items in order to meet the basic needs of the population. Through other projects, Caritas Luxembourg supports the reconstruction of houses, provides psychological support and invests in training in order to enable people to regain employment, financial independence and means of subsistence.

One of the beneficiaries is Mohammed, 23 years old, who got married and started a family in the midst of this brutal war and between multiple forced displacements. Mohammed is originally from Aleppo, but he has had to move his young family several times to flee the fighting.

"I can't describe this feeling. We are both traumatised and exhausted. But we have no choice but to wake up every morning and continue to fight to survive for the sake of our children."

Mohammed arrived at the Turkish-Syrian border in the spring of 2020 and, like most other refugees, his small family arrived without financial means and with very few basic necessities. With the financial support of Caritas Luxembourg, the local partner SARD provided them with cooked meals and then carried out an assessment of their other needs.

"If I had savings, I would use them to buy my family some clothes and basic materials for the house, but we survived day by day for so many years that we had nothing when we left Aleppo and then Idleb".

The project was able to provide the family with initial support to enable them to live in dignified conditions and rebuild their lives. This support included initial help with accommodation, with food vouchers and hygiene kits, as well as some basic clothing.

"Without the support, we would have lived in humiliating conditions. There is no other way I can afford to pay for my family's food and replace other materials. I feel that we have struggled so much and without these basic items, my morale would have collapsed and I would feel like giving up," says Mohammed. "Now at least we have the minimum we need to continue, to continue to fight".

People who wish to support the displaced persons in Syria - and more broadly all the activities of Caritas Luxembourg - can do so by making a donation by transfer to the account (CCPL) IBAN LU34 1111 0000 2020 0000 or directly below.

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