Canadian donations to CNEWA’s Middle East aid doubled as turmoil continues

Ottawa, Ontario — As the fight to protect innocent families from violence in the Middle East reached tragic heights in 2015, Canadians donated more than $2.4 million to CNEWA Canada to support displaced peoples and refugees — in particular religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, among other affected countries.

While Canadian donations to the Middle East doubled, CNEWA Canada raised more than $6 million overall — an increase over the previous year’s $3.8 million record total. The drastic increase may be explained by the fact that worldwide displacement is at an all-time high as war and persecution are on the rise, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency.

“We are grateful the Canadian public are generously donating to help those affected by the instability of war but, sadly, we know that the needs are also growing because of the continued violence,” says Carl Hétu, CNEWA’s Canadian National Director. “To end the refugee crisis, the international community needs to work towards solutions for long-lasting peace.”

Canadian generosity was also focused on Ukraine — with total donations of approximately $680,000 — which included $100,000 for displaced people due to the war in Eastern Ukraine. About $3 million was donated to support the overall program of CNEWA. Some of these funds will be used in countries such as Armenia, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia and India, including funds for education, healthcare and other social services.

CNEWA’s programs include an array of aid including emergency relief for refugees and displaced peoples, youth initiatives, education, health clinics and hospitals, helping people with special needs, elderly and vulnerable children and the support of pastoral work of the church, such as the formation of seminarians and lay leaders.

“Christians contribute vital services ranging from health care to education that help society as a whole,” adds Hétu. “The increased donations in 2015 reflect a strong desire from the Canadian public to stand side-by-side with their brothers and sisters around the world to help ease their suffering.”

Canadians interested in making donations to help CNEWA and its partners in the Middle East or other areas like Ukraine where the organization operates are invited to do so by visiting or to write a cheque to CNEWA Canada at 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 6K9 or by phone at 1-866-322-4441. As a registered charity, CNEWA will issue a tax receipt.

CNEWA, founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, is well-established in the Middle East with offices in Amman, Beirut and Jerusalem. CNEWA currently administers projects and programs in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. Elsewhere, CNEWA works in the northeast of Africa, India and Eastern Europe, including Ukraine.

Carl Hétu, Canadian National Director
Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)

For more information:

Toronto office
Vanessa Santilli
Tel : 647-244-7059

Montreal office
Lauriane Ayivi
Tel : 514-288-8290 ext. 233

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