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Vatican fears mounting civilian casualties in Syria

Catholic World News - June 06, 2013

Syria’s civil war will take a heavier toll on civilians during the summer months, Vatican officials have predicted, calling for renewed efforts to provide humanitarian relief.

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum held a conference June 4 and 5 for Catholic charitable groups active in Syria. Combined, these groups have been providing aid to more than 400,000 people in Syria. But the need is much greater, participants in the conference reported. More than 4 million people have been driven from their homes, and nearly 7 million now need some emergency help. The summer heat will increase the threat of epidemic disease in refugee camps, where sanitary conditions are poor and medical supplies inadequate.

The Vatican has issued a special appeal for support of the relief efforts in Syria, as well as a plea for negotiations to end the bloodshed. Without a negotiated settlement, Cor Unum said, the conflict threatens to become a “useless massacre” in which civilians are the main casualties.

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