March 10, 2020

cardinal mario zenari appeal: "Do not forget syria"

The Apostolic Nuncio in Syria recalls the main activities of the Open Hospitals Project: about 30,000 people have already received treatment in Damascus and Aleppo, and the goal is to reach a total of 50,000 people

“The worst thing that can happen to Syria, on top of many other adversities, is to be forgotten.”

In his appeal, Cardinal Mario Zenari noted that that there are more than 13 million Syrians who have been affected by the war and require humanitarian assistance such as food and medicine.

Since 2016, Zenari has been involved with AVSI’s Open Hospitals, an initiative to address the current health crisis in the country.  The project provides medical care for those living in poverty and supports the activities of three non-profit hospitals in Syria – the Italian Hospital and the French Hospital in Damascus and St. Louis Hospital in Aleppo.

Open Hospitals is implemented by AVSI with the support of individual donors, various institutions and private foundations including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association.

In this video, Cardinal Zenari recalls the main activities of the project: so far, about 30,000 people have been treated in the three hospitals supported by Open Hospitals and the goal is to reach 50,000 people in total.

“Half of Syria’s hospitals are currently out of commission making the need for medical care desperate, particularly in conflict areas where hospitals are often a target and eight in ten people live in poverty,” said Giampaolo Silvestri, AVSI Secretary-General in a recent interview with crux.now . “We are looking for resources to continue, but things are progressing well. There is a continued need for healthcare.”

With the situation on the ground not improving, Zenari agrees: 

“We have to continue our efforts and deal with the health emergency,” says the Cardinal, adding that it is crucial “to keep our eyes on Syria and not let the curtain fall” on the tragic situation that continues to unfold.

"The worst way of being killed is by silence and indifference.”

Open hospitals project in numbers