Media CenterCRS Applauds New Syrian Peace Agreement

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS) applauds the plan for a nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria agreed to by United States and Russian negotiators and urges its implementation as quickly as possible.

“We have been saying that the only way to relieve the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the many countries absorbing its refugees is a negotiated end to the fighting,” said Bill O’Keefe, CRS Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy. “We hope this is a first step toward that.”

O’Keefe emphasized the size and scope of the suffering among Syrian people and called on the United States and other countries to continue and increase their support for the millions displaced by five years of fighting.

“Even a temporary lull in the war will help those in need,” he said. “But we must take advantage of that to get more help to these vulnerable people. They want to go home to a peaceful country. We must all work toward that.”

Since the beginning of the war in 2011, CRS has come to the aid of approximately 925,000 war-affected Syrians across the Middle East and Europe.  

CRS is increasing its support along Turkey’s southern border with Syria as intensified fighting around the Syrian city of Aleppo has caused tens of thousands of people to flee.

 “This expected influx of refugees into Turkey could drastically impact the humanitarian situation on the ground, causing even more pressure to be put on neighboring countries,” said Kevin Hartigan, regional director for CRS in the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe.

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Michael Hill

Senior Writer

Michael Hill
February 12, 2016

Based in Baltimore, MD

As Senior Writer, Michael is responsible for much of the editorial production of the Communications Unit: press releases, op-eds, speeches, etc. He also is a supervisor in the department overseeing the work of three communications staff in Asia, Africa and the United States.

Before joining CRS is 2008, Michael had a 35-year career at the...More