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Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
Beirut, 20 March 2015 – We rang in the New Year with whatever hope we could muster from inside and out, from our families, our communities, even from our enemies. We scraped it together, and we shared it among us in small rations, barely enough to go around. We prayed and dreamed that this would be the beginning of the end of the horror; that 2015 would put the past four years behind us and bring the long-awaited end to the blood on our hands – the lost fathers, the grieving mothers, the broken children, the destroyed cities and the squandered aspirations.
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Praying with refugees in the Middle East: faith in action
Beirut, 9 March 2015 – At a time of increasing extremism, people drift apart. Consumed by war and subjugated by fear, it is difficult to hold onto hope. As the spectre of violence and terror has crept into all of our homes; we must make a great effort not to give in to despair.
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Syria: rocket attacks target civilians in Aleppo and Damascus
Rome, 5 February 2015 - The Jesuit Refugee Service is extremely alarmed by the escalation in attacks on Aleppo and Damascus in the last few days. These indiscriminate attacks are targeting densely populated civilian areas. The level of violence in Damascus has reached unprecedented levels. The international community must take urgent action to protect the lives of civilian populations.
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Syria: water, the simplest gift of all
Homs, 23 December 2014 – Since the ceasefire for the Old City of Homs was signed earlier in the year, Homs has no longer occupied the news headlines from Syria. Recovering and restoring the Old City to any semblance of its former self will take years of reconstruction. In the meantime, those who are able to, have returned to their homes to try rebuild what has been destroyed and reclaim their property.
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France: Pope Francis visits European Parliament
Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris, Rome, Valletta, 24 November 2014 – On the occasion of Pope Francis’s speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) urges European countries to remain faithful to one of the fundamental values underpinning the European Union by showing concrete solidarity with migrants and refugees and ensuring fully-fledged joint search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
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Iraq: the Jesuit Refugee Service in Iraqi Kurdistan, winter imperils displaced families
Erbil, 11 November 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has established a project in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kuridstan region, to provide assistance to recently displaced people. Unprecedented numbers of families and individuals have been displaced across Iraq and Syria as the Islamic State has spread in recent months.
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50 NGOs urge states at Berlin conference to protect civilians and refugees affected by the Syrian conflict
Rome, 28 October 2014 – Prior to today's conference on the Syrian crisis, chaired by the German government and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), a group of a group of 50 national and international NGOs urge governments and NGOs act now to address the suffering of Syrians. Above all, the group added, the international community and influential states must prioritise forging a negotiated political solution to end the conflict in Syria.
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Jordan: sharing pain and success among different refugee communities
Amman, 23 October 2014 – The city where I used to live is located in the middle of Syria. My neighbourhood was very close to an area that was loyal to the Syrian government, and in the long run that meant trouble for us. It was the summer of 2011; my schoolmates and I were ordinary students who were studying for exams and just looking forward to enjoying our summer vacation. It was about to be my last Syrian summer.
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Syria: examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to conflict
Syria, 13 October 2014 – During the anti-apartheid years in South Africa, the phrase "strike a woman and you strike a rock" was popularised by the growing involvement of women in the struggle. In Syria, the role of women has taken on a less aggressive, but no less significant role.
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Emergencies and new conflicts leave the forcibly displaced hungry
Rome, 16 October 2014 – While forcibly displaced persons make up only a tiny portion of those suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition, the rise in conflict-induced displacement is putting serious strains on the capacity of the international community to meet the basic food needs of those fleeing conflict. Nothing better illustrates the hardship faced by refugees and internally displaced persons than the on-going conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, and the protracted refugee crisis in Chad.
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Recent stories
Emergencies and new conflicts leave the forcibly displaced hungry
Rome, 16 October 2014 – While forcibly displaced persons make up only a tiny portion of those suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition, the rise in conflict-induced displacement is putting serious strains on the capacity of the international community to meet the basic food needs of those fleeing conflict. Nothing better illustrates the hardship faced by refugees and internally displaced persons than the on-going conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, and the protracted refugee crisis in Chad.
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Syria: between fear of violence and the struggle to survive
Beirut, 3 October 2014 – The humanitarian crisis in two of the three principle cities in Syria has deteriorated dramatically in the last two months, according to Jesuit Refugee Service teams on the ground.
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Safe passage into Europe needed for refugees
Brussels, Rome, 2 October 2014 – A year after the tragic death of nearly 400 forced migrants – men, women, children – off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, tens of thousands of lives have been saved. The details of how close the victims were to the coast spurred the Italian government to act. Proof, if any was needed, of how much can be done when states prioritise life above border security.

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Praying with Refugees in Belgium: then the storm died down
Bruges, 1 October 2014 – Detention centres are places where storms frequently erupt, especially in the spirits of anxious, angry and stressed detainees. They feel overwhelmed, as if drowning. Yet in the middle of these dark storms, suddenly something can change. It is difficult to identify exactly what, but something changes their perspective, draws their attention to elements almost lost in the storm. It might be that God is at work.
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Jordan: living in the shadow of the Syrian crisis
Amman, 24 September 2014 - After an endless drive through lanes of auto-repair shops buzzing with workers, many of them children, a small brick house emerged, tucked away behind Amman's hills.
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Middle East: protection of Syrian civilians must be world's priority, humanitarian and human rights groups demand
London, 24 September 2014 – Any further intervention in the Middle East must address the suffering of Syrian civilians, a global coalition of 39 leading human rights and humanitarian organisations said today. Ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the #WithSyria coalition – comprising Amnesty International, the Jesuit Refugee Service, Save the Children and other – urges world leaders, whoever they support in the conflict, to make clear that they are on the side of civilians.
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France: is this the same planet?
Paris, 8 September 2014 – Molly Mullen from JRS International wanted to interview Mohammed about the lodging he found in Paris thanks to the Welcome Network. Instead, she heard about the deep frustration and sadness felt by refugees who seek asylum in Europe.
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Praying with Refugees in North Kivu: singing together to the Lord
Masisi, 1 September 2014 – How can we challenge ourselves to pray in a way that gives room to the refugees and displaced persons in our communities? There is a call for change to welcome the displaced in our world. What are my personal commitments towards that? How can I, as a member of a host community, express solidarity for and show hospitality to others?
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Praying with Refugees in Afghanistan: even after the darkest night there will be a new day
Rome, 1 August 2014 – Two months have passed since Fr Alexis Prem Kumar SJ, the Jesuit Refugee Service Afghanistan director, was abducted by a group of armed men from a JRS-sponsored school in Sohadat, a government township for returnee families, 35 kilometers from Herat city in western Afghanistan.
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Lebanon: space to learn
Beirut, 4 July 2014 – How can a country educate every child when its population has expanded by 25% in less than four years? Lebanon, a country of four million in 2010 is now hosting more than a million Syrian refugees, roughly half are school-aged. A country that is roughly the size of Delaware, or quarter the size of Switzerland – is at its widest point, only 70 km across.
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