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Syria: the daily struggle for survival goes on

Second anniversary of conflict, 70,000 dead, a million refugees; Malteser International is there

Cologne 16 March 2013

It is the second anniversary of the Syrian conflict. Over 70,000 lie dead, a million refugees have fled. The struggle for survival is desperate, particularly for mothers with small children. “Their needs, especially the children, increase every single day,” says Thomas Molitor, emergency coordinator at Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s humanitarian relief agency. “An adult can sometimes make do with less food. But infants need nourishment to grow – and they need it every day.”  

Syrian refugees find a safer haven

Syrian refugees find a safer haven

Food parcels in northern Syria 

Malteser International has scaled up its aid in the region to cover an additional 13,000 people, including new cross-border relief operations in Turkey and northern Syria. Distribution teams are bringing emergency food packages and baby food from Turkey into the Syrian districts of A’Zaz, Afrin and Al Bab, a rural, opposition-controlled region north of Aleppo. The aid will benefit 750 families and 500 infants for 5 months. 

Aid for Syrian refugee children in Turkey 

In Turkey, Malteser International is supporting a school in the border district of Kilis, where 1,350 Syrian children currently attend class, by paying an allowance to teachers, subsidising running costs, supplying school materials and giving the children healthy snacks three times a week. “Children learn better when their stomachs aren’t empty,” Molitor says. Medical support in Lebanon Malteser International has been helping the displaced population within Syria, and in Turkey and Lebanon, since July 2012. It has distributed emergency kits, heating ovens, blankets and winter clothing to over 20,000 people in the region. It is also supporting a health clinic of the Order of Malta in Lebanon, which offers free health care to Syrian refugees, with medication and medical equipment. 

Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 100 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For more information: and 

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.