Jordan. Medical care for Syrian refugees

“Peace in Syria is possible”, says Pope Francis. But first of all the country’s people have to survive, which is why the Pope is constantly calling on us to help the hungry and thirsty, the naked, the sick, the stranger and those driven from their homes by violence and war. Many sick refugees from Syria are being cared for by the Comboni Sisters in the Italian hospital in Karak, Jordan, just over the Syrian border. Here they are given shelter and emergency aid. “We are caring above all for pregnant women and young mothers with small children”, says Sister Adele. Children are Syria’s future, and without them peace has no future. And often the refugees, after receiving emergency aid from the Sisters, have gone on to support themselves and help provide for others in need. But most of them just want to return home. During these eight years of war, more and more refugees have poured in to the country. The Jordanian government could no longer bear the cost, nor could the Sisters. Their x-ray machine broke down, making diagnoses difficult. It is now beyond repair.

Comboni Sister Bachara comforts a newborn child.
Comboni Sister Bachara comforts a newborn child.

And their ancient air-conditioning system also keeps breaking down, limiting the work they can do in the operating theatre. They are living and working from day to day, with no idea as to how long things can continue as they are. Many of the refugees have nowhere to turn to when they fall ill. They cannot afford the most essential medication. During the early years of the civil war the hospital was still able to count on the support of other international organisations, but now their support has dwindled. But the Sisters cannot simply turn away expectant mothers or sick children, or emergency admissions. They know that for most people the 150 km journey to the capital, Amman is too far and too costly. So the Sisters are seeking our help – so that they can go on helping others. In all these refugees they see the suffering face of Christ. And we want Him to be able to continue saying to them: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me” (Mt 25:40). We have promised €50,000 for the medical care of these Syrian refugees.

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