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CRS President Calls for Support for Syrian Refugees

January 7, 2014 by

Carolyn Woo Tells Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
that Assistance is Needed Now and into the Future

WASHINGTON, DC, January 7, 2014 – Catholic Relief Services president & CEO Carolyn Y. Woo called on the international community to increase its humanitarian assistance to the victims of the Syrian unrest, not just during the current emergency, but also in the medium and long-term.

“Even if the violence in Syria were to end tomorrow, refugees would not be able to return immediately,” Dr. Woo said in testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. “Much of the public infrastructure has been destroyed and will require rebuilding.”

“The United States government must take up our traditional role in leading the charge to support refugees, while also encouraging development and bilateral donors and private sector actors to commit their support,” she stated to the subcommittee’s hearing on the Syrian refugee crisis.

Dr. Woo noted that CRS has served some 350,000 refugees with $45 million in funds from the U.S. government and other international donors.

“Despite the darkness of the tragedy, there is light in the generous hospitality of Syria’s neighbors and the response of the international community,” she said.

Read Dr. Woo’s full written testimony.

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Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in nearly 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. For more information, please visit or

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