“Economic sanctions that afflict the poor must be lifted. I stress the word ‘poor,’” Archimandrite (head of a monastery) Georges Masri said in an e-mail from his home base in Syria. He was responding to my request for his views on the unfolding humanitarian crisis in his country, and whether sanctions have exacerbated it.
“The traditional war destroyed our infrastructure and service buildings such as hospitals, factories, energy and water centres, oil sources, and what was not destroyed was stolen,” he added.
“The economic war (sanctions and inflation) destroyed the lives of people. The most important requirements of life that are considered normal for the rest of the world have become for us a luxury: by this I mean heating, medicine and earning a livelihood with dignity.”