Cologne/Idlib. As the war in Syria enters its tenth year, Malteser International has called 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 solemn 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. Yet, they are setting a contrast point to the horrors of the conflict. “Alongside international aid workers, they are risking their lives daily to uphold human dignity by providing life-saving assistance and enabling prospects for people caught in the crisis. They are already sowing the seeds of social cohesion and humanity that will be needed in Syria and its neighboring countries in the future”, said Lietmeyer.
Thanks to support from the German Federal Foreign Office, Malteser International has scaled up its emergency operations in the Idlib region. The organization has procured urgently needed medical supplies and consumables which are now being distributed to health facilities and clinics in coordination with health partners. 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.
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Janine Lietmeyer, Head of Malteser International’s Middle East Program, is available for interviews.
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