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War is Over If You Want It

This Christmas marks the 50th anniversary of the start of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘peace’ campaign. In 1969, Lennon and Ono unveiled prominent billboards in 12 major cities worldwide, highlighting the power of ordinary people and how they could call for an end to war. Trócaire has independently re-imagined the campaign for 2019 with a banner at Dublin’s Liberty Hall today unveiled to launch our Christmas appeal supporting families who are living in war zones around the world. 

Where Trócaire work, 90 million people have known nothing but war and have lived through constant conflict since they were born. Trócaire is working to protect them and keep them safe. We are asking the public to support us and make sure these innocent people aren’t forgotten this Christmas.

According to Trócaire’s CEO Caoimhe de Barra, families fleeing conflict urgently need food, shelter and heathcare this Christmas in many of the countries where Trócaire work.

“Millions of children around the world have known nothing but conflict in their lives. Their lives are on hold because they have been raised in war zones. It seems that in many cases the world has forgotten these children. This Christmas we want them to know that we haven’t forgotten them,” said Caoimhe.

The figures are frightening

In Syria, Somalia and Gaza alone, where Trócaire works, an estimated 19 million people have known nothing but war – children have lived through constant conflict since they were born. 


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Destruction in Homs, Syria. Photo: Caritas

After 8 years of war, 6.7 million Syrians have fled their country and another 6.2 million have had to leave their homes due to fighting. Over half a million people have been killed. Of the 6.7 million Syrian refugees, 5.6 million are hosted in neighbouring countries including Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.


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Dr Abdi treating Salaad who was suffering from malnutrition in a Trócaire hospital in Somalia. Photo: Eyeris Communications/Trócaire

There has been conflict in Somalia since 1991 and, in that time, the number of people killed has been estimated at close to one million. Somalia has been devastated by ongoing drought in recent years. Half of the population (6.2 million people) is experiencing severe food shortages with millions requiring life-saving assistance. The conflict is hampering efforts to help these people.


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Pictured on her recent trip to Palestine with Trocaire is Deirdre O’Kane with widow Shefa Faraaj, her daughter Saja (3), son Mosa (1) and lab technician Diana AlJelda in the Caritas Jerusalem clinic in Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza. Children here are weighed, have blood samples taken, and are given medicine to treat intestinal worms. (Photo : Mark Stedman / Trócaire)

Constant conflict has meant that 80% of Gaza’s 2 million population relies on humanitarian assistance to survive. 95% of the water supply is unfit for human consumption and stocks of life-saving drugs are extremely low.

Please Support Our Appeal

Our hope for 2020 is that these conflicts can be brought to an end through the public support for peace. We need to make sure our voices are heard by those in power. The international community must ensure that civilians are protected, humanitarian aid is allowed through and those with influence pressure the protagonists involved in the conflicts to find a peaceful way forward. You can be a force for good. These wars can end.. if we want them to.

This Christmas Trócaire is asking you to remember the children affected by the conflicts in these countries. Help us to help them by donating to our Christmas Appeal.

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