Pope Francis made a generous donation to the needy in the war-ravaged Syrian city of Aleppo, the Vatican announced Friday.
“The Holy Father …. celebrated a Mass for Syria and has sent 100,000 euro ($106,000) to the poor of Aleppo,” the Vatican said in a statement.
The ancient city has become a symbol of the war’s brutality.
It has endured brutal fighting during the six-year Syrian conflict, and the warfare has caused many deaths and injuries, widespread displacement and massive damage.
The Pope has been publicly raising attention and awareness to the plight of Syrians caught in the conflict since his election in 2013.
UN report on Aleppo
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, a body established in August 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, focused on the violence in the Aleppo region in its latest report, issued March 1. It covers the period from mid-July to late December.
In that time, citizens were “not just caught in the line of fire. More often than not, they were the target,” the report said, and “hospitals, orphanages, markets, schools and homes were all but obliterated.”
“Much of Aleppo, once Syria’s biggest city and its commercial and cultural centre and a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been reduced to rubble. More than 100,000 people have been displaced and are struggling to survive,” the report said.