Both prayers and economic assistance, Pope Francis stressed, are needed to ameliorate the ongoing humanitarian catastrophes in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
The independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission said it aims to defend the universal right to freedom of religion abroad and makes policy recommendations to the U.S. administration.
People are concerned that Syria will be further undermined not only by terrorism, humanitarian stresses, and lack of freedom but by the coronavirus pandemic as well.
The fund will operate "thanks to the active collaboration of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine," the statement said.
In an interview April 4 with Vatican News, the cardinal said that despite the war, up to this point Christians in Syria celebrated Holy Week and Easter every year, "even under the risk of bombs and mortar attacks."
Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. human rights chief, called on Syria and its allies to permit safe humanitarian corridors to be set up in the conflict areas.