Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 25 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Toribio Romo González
home iconNews
line break icon

Syria: “Please don’t forget us”


Aid to the Church in Need

Fionn Shiner-ACN - published on 02/02/21

Sister Annie Demerjian told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that COVID-19 had brought the country’s recovery to a halt.

Coronavirus is causing the West to forget the people of Syria who are still in desperate need of healing after almost a decade of conflict – according to a nun who has risked her life to provide urgent aid.

Sister Annie Demerjian told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that COVID-19 had brought the country’s recovery to a halt. She said: “Syria is like someone who has had a serious operation and he needs to heal, he needs to recover and he suddenly doesn’t have time to recover. “The world has begun to forget about Syria and that’s painful.”

Sister Annie, a leading project partner for ACN, explained that just as people were beginning to piece their lives back together the pandemic came as a cruel blow.

She said: “Everybody knows we are coming out of a very difficult situation, the civil war. People start breathing, the remaining Christians are beginning to stand on their feet.

“Then the pandemic came and people collapsed. It’s a big burden – no work, no jobs.”

Sister Annie stressed that the combination of the civil war, the pandemic and fresh economic sanctions against the government of Syria have left many people in abject poverty. She said: “Life without electricity and gas is very hard and that’s because of the sanctions. “Only every couple of hours we get one hour of electricity. That is not enough to heat a house. “There is not enough gas to cook food.” Highlighting the rampant poverty, she said: “Many times we receive calls, people are hungry, they have nothing to eat.”

ACN has helped Sister Annie provide anoraks for more than 26,000 children for the winter months where temperatures can dip below zero.She said: “A father cannot buy his child an anorak because one anorak is equal to his salary, or more. Our campaign was for families who find it impossible to help their children. It’s helped thousands of children. “You cannot imagine the joy in the faces and eyes of the children when they were given the anoraks. ACN funded this.” Emphasizing that the anorak campaign provided jobs, Sister Annie added: “We are trying to help the economy, 40 shops and factories made the anoraks which created jobs as well. We had two goals: creating jobs and distributing anoraks to our children in this harsh winter.

Sister Annie finished by thanking ACN’s supporters.

She said: “Even in this difficult time the benefactors of ACN didn’t stop supporting us. I will pray for the benefactors and the workers of ACN – you are doing amazing, amazing work. Through ACN, we are helping 270 old families with their daily cost of living. We are also supporting 84 families with their rent, between Aleppo and a little bit of Damascus.”

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
A song to celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines
Bret Thoman, OFS
Padre Pio says this is a sin that’s difficult to forgive &#...
Philip Kosloski
Why does Lent last 40 days?
Philip Kosloski
10 Things you should know about the Catholic Mass
Jim McIngvale
Cerith Gardiner
Mattress Mack steps up again to help those suffering freezing wea...
Philip Kosloski
Rarely seen photos of Fatima visionaries, Lucia, Jacinta and Fran...
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.