(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Robert Sarah paints a dramatic picture of the situation of
refugees fleeing war in Syria. He says the Pope’s 1 million dollar donation in support
of the church's humanitarian response to the crisis is highly appreciated.
on his just ended mission as special Papal envoy, Cardinal Sarah, President of the
Pontifical Council Cor Unum, speaks of the predicament of the refugees in Lebanon
and of his hopes for a speedy solution to the crisis. Vatican Radio's Linda Bordoni
affected by the despair and the conditions of Syrian Refugees who have fled bloodshed
in their country, and are sheltered in refugee camps in North Eastern Lebanon, Cardinal
Sarah says tens of thousands of people are in dire need of basic necessities.
medicine, water, electricity as well as warm clothing and heating are top priorities.
In an interview with Vatican Radio he says the money donated by the Pope is a drop
in the ocean, a much appreciated drop which can make a real difference to the lives
of Christian and Muslim refugees who have lost all. He recounts his pain at witnessing
their despair, a large majority of them – he points out - women, children and babies.
the 1 million dollars donated by Benedict XVIth, 700 thousand have been given to the
local Caritas organizations to bring immediate relief to Syrian refugees. The remaining
300 thousand have been destined to aid for Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
his mission Cardinal Sarah also conferred with Lebanese authorities, religious leaders
and regional Caritas presidents gathered to discuss and coordinate aid efforts for
the increasing Syrian refugee crisis.
In the interview he expresses his hope
that the international community take up a mediation role and says that the fact that
Syrian opposition factions have joined ranks should make it easier to single out an
interlocutor. Threfore, Cardinal Sarah says, the international community must take
heed of the Pope’s words and unite to find a solution for peace in Syria. “We must
pray” he says “we must not exclude God from the process. That’s why Benedict’s voice,
his daily appeal to pray for Syria, is important” so that this new opposition front
be open to dialogue with the help of the international community”.