Pope Francis called the Syrian civil war one of the worst humanitarian crises of current times as he renewed his appeal on March 14 for an end to the country’s decade-long civil war.
“An untold number of dead and wounded, millions of refugees, thousands missing, destruction, violence of all kinds and immense suffering for the entire population, especially the most vulnerable, such as children, women and the elderly,” noted the pope.
He then issued a “heartfelt appeal” for all parties to the conflict to “show signs of goodwill, so that a glimmer of hope may open up for the exhausted population.”
The pontiff made the call in front of several hundred people in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly blessing and message.
Pope Francis also called on the international community to provide “decisive and renewed” commitment to rebuilding the nation, so that “once the weapons have been laid down, the social fabric can be mended, and reconstruction and economic recovery can begin.”
“Let us all pray to the Lord that the great suffering in our beloved and tormented Syria may not be forgotten, and that our solidarity might revive hope,” he added.
In mid-March, 2011, peaceful pro-democracy protests developed into a multi-sided conflict that sucked in world powers, killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more.
Since the conflict erupted a decade ago, more than five million Syrians have fled the country while six million remain internally displaced.
With more than 13 million people in need of assistance, the conflict has caused untold suffering for Syrian men, women and children.
More than 13.4 million people in the country need some sort of relief, according to the United Nations.
The UN has said that delivering aid has become dangerous, sometimes deadly.
On average, at least two aid workers and eight medical personnel have been killed in Syria every month for the past decade.