The economic situation of the people in Syria has deteriorated increasingly in recent years. Andreas Knapp, Secretary General for International Programs of Caritas Austria, said in an APA conversation now that the prices for basic foodstuffs have tripled due to a currency devaluation. The aid organization feels this challenge in its projects; according to Knapp, it is “increasingly difficult” to define target groups.
The focus is on financial support for “vulnerable groups”, said Knapp. These include, for example, single parents (“female-headed households”) and other disadvantaged families. Knapp said that the funds made available were being used very carefully. Around 70 percent is spent on basic foodstuffs, the rest is invested in the health and schooling of the children.
“Lack of educational opportunities”
For many educated Syrians, the “lack of educational opportunities” for their children is an essential reason for fleeing. This is exactly where Caritas comes in with its educational programs, said Knapp. “We want to give growing children a chance.”
The aim is also to reduce the “drop-out rate, which is very high among socially marginalized groups, or to encourage children to attend school. There is support for school buses, lunch – often the only real meal of the day – and the psychological support to combat trauma in students.
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