On February 23, 2016 the BC Catholic published an article by Deborah Gyapong regarding the extension of matching funds by the Federal Government and the hopes that this may result in a rise in donations to refugee sponsorship groups. Three Catholic charities joined forces with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) last fall to raise urgently-needed funds for Syrian refugees.
David Leduc, the executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, said he is grateful the international development minister extended the deadline to the end of February. He hopes Catholics will help CCODP meet its goal of $3.5 million by then. To date it has raised $2.2 million. Humanitarian projects Development and Peace has helped fund have included medical supplies, distribution of winter supplies, basic household items, food vouchers, housing assistance and educational activities for children.
Aid to the Church in Need has raised $415,305 so far for projects that include helping displaced persons in Syria with housing, winter clothing and baby supplies. Through the local churches they have helped fund reconstruction projects in the Syrian cities Yabroud and Homs where some Christians have returned.
CNEWA Canada national director Carl Hetu points out CNEWA has been in the Middle East for 90s years and the Syrian crisis is not the first the agency has witnessed. “Our role all along is to accompany the local church in whatever crisis they go through,” he said. “The Syrian one is a major one, so we’re there with the Church and the people to help them survive this big mess.”
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