The escalation of violence with the continued shelling in Aleppo (both in the eastern and western parts) for the greater part of the last couple of months has been a cause of great concern to Jesuit Refugee Service.
Whilst we are in no position to provide any numbers, ground reports inform us that over the past few weeks there have been numerous deaths and many more injured. Aleppo, historically a great city, today stands battered and brutalized with most parts in ruins.
We have witnessed the influx of thousands of civilians fleeing from the eastern parts to western Aleppo and other “safer” areas of Syria. As in the case of most forcibly displaced persons, they had to flee leaving all their material possessions behind. All of them arrive in these “safer” areas in dire straits.
The displaced people have had practically no access to medical help, which they need very desperately. Women and children suffer the most. A bitterly cold winter has already set in, making life for them even more miserable.
JRS Syria, and particularly JRS Aleppo, have been responding in several different ways to the displaced and other affected. They have been working in tandem with other local NGOs, doing needs assessments, providing blankets and other woolen wear, and distributing some food items and medical supplies to the neediest among the displaced. The JRS Aleppo team has been reaching out in the face of great risks to themselves and to their families.
JRS has been consistent in its stand in condemning every form of violence. We once again call upon all factions concerned to ensure that the current cessation of hostilities is a permanent one. We also call upon those concerned to guarantee safe passage and security to all civilian population and to ensure that they have easy access to humanitarian aid.
Above all, we hope and pray for immediate and lasting peace – for the people of Aleppo and for all of Syria.