“Among the many praiseworthy initiatives that you have promoted, this year I would like to mention the great work to support the return of the Christian communities to the plain of Nineveh, in Iraq, and the healthcare offered to many poor people in Syria, in particular through the project Open Hospitals”. With these words, Pope Francis praised AVSI Open Hospitals Project during his opening speech at this year’s meeting to discuss the crisis in Syria.
Open Hospitals was born as a concrete answer to the healthcare crisis in Syria after seven years of war, through the initiative of Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, and the support of the Holy See. AVSI designed the intervention and is in charge of the procurement of the financial resources and of the overall management of the project in partnership with the participating facilities. In fact the main objective is to restore three hospitals in Syria – the Italian Hospital and the French Hospital in Damascus and St. Louis Hospital in Aleppo – to full functionality, with the focus on ensuring access to hospital care, free of charge, for the poorest and most vulnerable.