As the war in Syria enters its tenth year, Malteser International –the Order of Malta’s international relief agency – is calling for a change in perspective. “Nine years of brutal conflict have cost hundreds of thousands of human lives. The crisis has spilled over to other countries and left the entire region facing bleak prospects for the future,” said Janine Lietmeyer, Head of the Middle East Program at Malteser International. “People all over Syria are longing for an end to the war, a return to their homes and a chance to lead normal lives. This will require more than just material aid. It is time to rediscover humanity.”
On this sad anniversary, Malteser International is demanding for more awareness and support for those who remain steadfast in their hope for peace and reconciliation in Syria despite all adversities, especially the predominantly local aid workers in the country. Many are themselves survivors, refugees or members of persecuted minorities.
Thanks to support from the German Federal Foreign Office, Malteser International has scaled up its emergency operations in the Idlib region, near the Turkish border. The organization has procured urgently needed medical supplies and consumables which are now being distributed to health facilities and clinics. Malteser International is active in the Middle East with around 50 aid workers collaborating with local organizations across Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq to implement 12 projects in humanitarian aid and reconstruction.
The Order of Malta hosted a meeting in Rome just over two weeks ago bringing together its Middle East region ambassadors and heads of its relief agencies to decide how to improve and strengthen the Order’s aid activities in the area.