READ BELOW REMARKS MADE by Giampaolo Silvestri, Secretary General of AVSI, at “Pathways to Achieving Human Dignity: Partnering with Faith-Based Organizations”, A SYMPOSIUM
Iraq, A virtuous production cycle to relaunch a city and its economic fabric for IDPs and returnees to the Nineveh Plain
The second project I would like to present today is titled A virtuous production cycle to relaunch a city and its economic fabric for IDPs and returnees to the Nineveh Plain, that AVSI is implementing in Qaraqosh, financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration - US Department of State (PRM) with a contribution of
US$ 3 million.
The main objective of the project is to provide livelihood opportunities and create the pre-conditions for the economic recovery of the area, and the full return of IDPs to their homes through the reconstruction of farming businesses.
The most important activities are:
The beneficiaries are 3,000 Iraqi returnees and Iraqi IDPs.
The role of the local partner has been crucial: the Church Supreme Board for Construction of Baghdeda (BfCB), led by a Chaldean Priest, is the organization in charge of the reconstruction of Qaraqosh. It is thanks to the action of this Faith-Based Organization that is possible to reach the beneficiaries and accompany them to resume the economic activities. In our experience, the presence and the role of this Faith-Based Organization is a reliable guarantee to achieve the objectives of the project.
Syria. Open Hospitals
Another example is the Open Hospitals Project, promoted by His Eminence Cardinal Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria. Through this project, AVSI is supporting three Catholic Hospitals, two in Damascus and one in Aleppo, run by Congregations of Sisters.
Since the end of 2017, these hospitals have been providing free treatments to 27,000 people in need.
An essential element of this project is that most people treated are Muslims who receive free care from Catholic Hospitals. This is building social cohesion between different ethnic and religious groups, and it is an evident contribution of the Faith-Based Organizations for the reconstruction and pacification of Syria.
I would like to conclude offering some considerations from these experiences: