New York, NY, Sept. 18, 2014 … The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in Jordan hailed Pope Francis for highlighting the worsening plight of suffering Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Pope Francis said during an interfaith meeting in Rome today that he wanted to visit the hundreds of thousands of refugees, including many Christians, who are suffering in refugee camps after escaping severe persecution in Syria and Iraq.

“We applaud Pope Francis for bringing crucial attention and support to the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st Century,” Dr. Georgette Bennett, the founder and president of the Multifaith Alliance, said in a statement. “The numbers of refugees fleeing to Jordan is exploding, estimated at 1.6 million people. They are mostly traumatized women and children, many of whom have fled rape and other forms of gender violence, and who continue to be subject to abuse. Most live in urban areas, where they lack even the minimal services of the refugee camps. Water, medical treatment, and other resources are in short supply and Jordan does not have the means to support this crisis on its own.”

“We sincerely hope the Pope’s actions will refocus the world’s attention on this humanitarian disaster,” said Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, MFA’s Director of Communications, Programs and Interfaith. “The Multifaith Alliance stands ready to work with the Pope and all faith communities to help raise awareness and provide direct aid to the Syrian refugees in Jordan.”

Pope Francis has commended Jordan’s “generous welcome” to Syrian refugees, which he stated warranted international appreciation and support. The Syrian civil war and violence in Iraq has put an unprecedented strain on the Kingdom of Jordan. U.N. officials estimate there are more than 800,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordanian camps, amounting to more than 10 percent of Jordan’s total population. Jordanian officials estimate the real number of refugees is closer to 1.6 million because these individuals and families are unregistered and living in the cities.

The Multifaith Alliance is a coalition of over 30 organizations who have joined forces to raise awareness within our own religious communities, from the pulpit, and through organizational communications, and to raise emergency funds for disaster relief agencies working on the ground in Jordan. Members include Catholic Relief Services, the Islamic Center of New York, Episcopal Relief and Development, The Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan and the U.S. fund for UNICEF.

Contact: Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg


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Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees is a project of the Tides Center 
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