UK Head of charity announces emergency aid package for Syria during visit to Malta

People under constant threat of bombardment in the Syrian city of Aleppo will receive a new emergency relief package in the latest round of aid payments announced by the UK Head of international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).  Neville Kyrke Smith, National Director of ACN UK, gave details of the aid projects when he visited ACN’s offices in Attard, Malta this week.

ACN UK’s latest aid payments prioritise emergency help for Syria. At least 5,000 people – 1,300 families – in Aleppo and Hassake, both in northern Syria, are in line for a six months’ supply of gas, electricity, water and rent. This emergency aid is desperately needed amid a deepening infrastructure crisis caused by growing conflict in the area. Recent missile attacks on Aleppo have destroyed more homes and inflicted many casualties.

John Pontifex, ACN UK Head of Press and Information, who has just returned from a visit to Syria said: “Against a backdrop of enormous suffering which we saw for ourselves, ACN’s help is a great consolation. We were told this again and again by bishops, priests, Sisters, young and old who gave us words of thanks to be passed on to our wonderful benefactors.”

“As one priest in Homs said to me: ‘Our tears are not only tears of sadness, they are tears of joy that someone has heard our cries and come to help us.”

The £187,000 aid package will be co-ordinated by Sister Annie Demerjian, a long-standing ACN project partner in Syria, who leads a team of people that have been assessing the needs of thousands of people in the area. 25 projects by ACN UK will start this month, including a programme of pastoral activities for refugee women supported by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Ain Saade, Lebanon.