Refugee Week 2014 - Caritas Australia

Raising awareness about the issues
affecting refugees around the world.
This year’s theme is
“Restoring Hope.”
As of December 2012, the number of people
displaced by persecution and conflict was
estimated by UNHCR to be 45.2 million – 28.8
million internally displaced persons (IDPs), 15.4
million refugees and 937,000 asylum seekers.
Australia was ranked 49th for total number of
refugees hosted (30,083), 62nd in terms of
refugees per capita and 87th for number of
refugees hosted relative to total GDP.
Main countries of origin
Top hosting countries
Video – 4mins
Would Jesus discriminate?
He touched lepers, who were
regarded as ‘unclean’.
He ate with ‘tax collectors
and sinners’.
He told the story of a
Samaritan, a people hated by
Jews, as an example of
neighbourly love, and said:
“Go, and do the same
yourself.” (Luke 10:37)
Faith in action
Caritas Australia and our partners support a number of
projects for refugees in countries such as Syria, South
Sudan, Bhutan, Nepal, and Burma/ Myanmar.
These programs are often linked to emergency appeals,
and include the provision of emergency goods such as
food, shelter, water, healthcare, counselling and support
for the families of those affected.
Case Study: 3 years of the Syria Crisis
Ongoing conflict in Syria has led to one of the worst humanitarian
crises in the world today. The Syrian crisis has killed more than
115,000, and over 9.3 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian
Caritas Australia is providing urgent humanitarian support to Syrian
refugees and host communities in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Zahaya’s Story
Earlier this year, Zahaya, 21, her
husband, Karim, and their one
year old son fled over 600km
from Syria to Lebanon to take
refuge from
the humanitarian crisis.
They took several buses and
made attempts to cross at
three different borders.
There are over 3.8 million Syrian
refugees today.
Many live in tents in refugee camps in
neighbouring countries, such as
Lebanon, where Zahaya and
her family are.
“It is very difficult to live here in a tent.
[…] We have no shower or bath here.
We have no running water or
electricity,” says Zahaya.
“As a mother, it is difficult to manage
my family here.”
Zahaya’s house was demolished by
bombs in April 2013.
“We had nothing,
only the clothes we were wearing.
We knew it was time to leave.”
The Caritas network is providing
critical food, shelter and living supplies
to Zahaya and her family, along with
thousands of other refugees like them.
Faith in action
In Sudan:
- The Sudan region has been beset with conflict for
decades. Fighting has continued even after South
Sudan separated from Sudan in July 2011. Conflict
escalated significantly in December 2013 in parts of
South Sudan. In response, Caritas Australia is
contributing to a coordinated international effort to help
the many civilians forced to flee their homes.
Faith in action
In Nepal:
- The Bhutanese Refugee Education Program
provides education and vocational skills to
Bhutanese students living in refugee
camps, Nepal.
Take action!
1. Find out more – what do you know about
refugees and asylum seekers? Commit to
finding out three facts you didn’t know, today!
2. Pray – for our Caritas partners and all who
help refugees around the world.
3. Work for justice – Pope Paul VI said “If you
want peace, work for justice”. Hold a
#withSyria prayer vigil and/or ‘Kids for Kids’
event and stand in solidarity with Syrian
A Prayer for Peace
in Syria
Prayer from Catholics Confront Global Poverty, a
collaborative effort of USCCB and CRS
God of Compassion,
Hear the cries of the people of Syria
Comfort those who suffer violence
Console those who mourn the dead
Give strength to Syria’s neighbouring
countries to welcome the refugees
Convert the hearts of those who have
taken up arms
And protect those who are committed
to peace
God of Hope,
Inspire leaders to choose peace over
violence and to seek reconciliation
with their enemies
Inflame the Universal Church with
compassion for the people of Syria
And give us hope for a future built on
justice for all
We ask this through Jesus Christ, the
Prince of Peace and Light of the world.
Picture credits
Refugee Week Logo and Banner
World Map:
Caritas Switzerland
Catholic Relief Services
Eoghan Rice / Trócaire
Last updated June 2014

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