We lost everything in the cyclone, our families, our houses, our futures, our hope. Now we have hope back thanks to those who have supported us from across the world,” said a survivor from a small village in Myanmar. Caritas gave food aid to over 26,000 people within weeks of Cyclone Nargis hitting the country.
Earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, drought, or conflict, Caritas provides a rapid, professional and compassionate response to those who have lost everything.
“We were abandoned,” said one Georgian who had fled the Russian bombardment to a shelter run by Caritas staff in Tiblisi. “But Caritas came.”
If there is a disaster, Caritas is where you go to for safety, the neighbour who organises food and blankets, and the coalition of the good that pulls together global resources to support vulnerable people.
“The Sisters brought the victims much consolation,” said Lan Yong, who was responsible for government relief efforts after a powerful earthquake shook Sichuan, in China. Caritas partners were quickly on the ground carrying out medical work.
Whether it’s providing food, shelter, water or medicine, we ensure a rapid response and coordination in relief efforts and disaster preparedness.
“I’ve almost finished cleaning my house,” Mertilus Jasmin said of the cash-for-work project Caritas has launched in Gonaives, in Haiti. Like tens of thousands of people there, he spent much of September knee deep in mud. However, he is earning money to help dig the city out from the effects of Hurricane Ike.
When an emergency happens and there are no local resources, Caritas launches a global appeal. Our members raise funds in their own countries and offer human resources, all of which are directed through Caritas members working on the ground.
Monica and Morrison are a HIV-positive couple living in Zimbabwe, where five million people need food aid. They received support from Caritas to help turn their bare land into a thriving farm. They have just had a baby called Tadiwanashe, which in Shona means: “We have been loved by God”.
Monica said, “This is not the end of the story, it’s just the beginning!”