Healthcare becomes accessible in Trianon, Haiti

By |30 October 2011|

On this Saturday 5 November the people of Trianon are celebrating. Today the Caritas Hinche – Trianon health centre is being inaugurated, a major event for this small community from the Central Plateau region in Haiti.

Field update: Floods strike Bangkok

By |28 October 2011|

For weeks, Caritas has been helping families impacted by floods in Thailand. Now the floodwaters have arrived in the country’s capital. Father Bonnie Mendes, Regional Coordinator for Caritas Asia, is in Bangkok and reports on the situation.
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    Remarks by Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, on the importance of peace and justice for the Caritas Confederation.

Remarks by Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, on the importance of peace and justice for the Caritas Confederation.

By |27 October 2011|

Read in French On 27 October in Assisi, Italy, Michel Roy of Caritas Internationalis will participate in a Day of Reflection, Dialogue, and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World. The event is being convened by Pope Benedict XVI to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first World Day for Peace, begun by his predecessor Blessed John Paul II. The event will bring together people of different faiths and will reaffirm the importance of the Church’s walking the path of dialogue in a rapidly changing world. Q1: What is your view on Caritas participation in this Day of Reflection, Dialogue, and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World? Q2: What does peace and justice represent within the work of Caritas? Michel Roy, secrétaire général de Caritas Internationalis, participera à la journée de réflexion, de dialogue et de prière pour la paix et la justice dans le monde le 27 octobre à [...]
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    Questions and answers on a year of crisis in Côte d’Ivoire

Questions and answers on a year of crisis in Côte d’Ivoire

By |24 October 2011|

Jean Djoman, the head of Caritas Cote d’Ivoire emergency team, explains what happened during the months of violence and how Caritas is helping displaced people rebuild their lives.
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    National truth and reconciliation: A long road ahead for Côte d’Ivoire

National truth and reconciliation: A long road ahead for Côte d’Ivoire

By |24 October 2011|

On 3 October 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) authorised its prosecutor to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes alleged to have been committed in Côte d’Ivoire by the forces of former President Laurent Gbagbo and President Alassane Ouattara.

Côte d’Ivoire: Towards reconciliation

By |24 October 2011|

Almost one year after the election of President Ouattara, and the violence and humanitarian crisis that followed it, Côte d’Ivoire seems to be well on the way towards stabilisation and peace.

Caritas team heads to Turkey quake site

By |24 October 2011|

Read in French Update from Caritas Turkey team : The earthquake that hit Van region last Sunday was very severe. The region is not easily accessible, so transportation and distribution of aid items is complicated. Many people lost their homes and at night the temperature drops below zero. We already sent 1200 sleeping bags that we had in stock. As a first response, we will send blankets, coats, plastic sheeting and other items. We’ll do an assessment to understand the needs in the villages, and will continue closely monitoring developments. --- A Caritas Turkey team is en route to a region that was hit by a powerful earthquake on Sunday. The quake, which occurred in an eastern province of Turkey, killed over 200 people in cities there and brought down dozens of buildings. Caritas will assess the needs of people whose homes or livelihoods have been impacted by the quake. Access to the area’s [...]

World failing Pakistan flood victims

By |20 October 2011|

Caritas says a poor response by the international community to major floods in Pakistan in 2011 is endangering lives. The Catholic aid network is urging donors to devote more resources to provide food, shelter and clean water to millions of people in need. Heavy monsoon rains began to inundate large areas of southern Pakistan in late July 2011. As the months wore on, the floods swamped villages across the province of Sindh. According to the United Nations, more than five million people are affected. In September, the U.N. called on the international community to donate $357 million US (258 million euros) to the crisis. Despite the scale of the need, the UN appeal has received only 20 percent of the required funding as of mid-October. A Caritas Internationalis appeal for $4.7 million US (3.4 million euros) for food aid, shelter, and medical help is also underfunded with only 25 percent of the appeal [...]

No Plan B in Ethiopia

By |20 October 2011|

The food crisis in East Africa hit the headlines over the summer. Resources were mobilised around the world to support communities in need as drought in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia put millions of people in peril. Val Morgan of SCIAF (Caritas Scotland) reports from southern Ethiopia that although the news attention may have moved on, the suffering remains. By Val Morgan What it is like to be hungry and facing a slow death by starvation? What it is like to see our family’s assets disappear, our children lose weight and our spouse join us in worrying how bad the future might just get? In early October 2011, I was brought a bit closer to these realities when I visited southern Ethiopia. The situation is truly desperate. People are going hungry, cattle are dying in large numbers, water sources and grazing land have all but disappeared, and the people don’t know […]

Flooding causes havoc across Central America

By |17 October 2011|

Torrential rains across Central America have caused deadly flooding in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Caritas teams are reporting that many roads and bridges have been destroyed, making it more difficult to reach survivors. Caritas El Salvador Director of Communications Ilse Marlene Vallecillos says that 12 out of 14 departments have been severely affected by the downpour, with over 13,000 people forced to flee the rising waters. A team from Caritas El Salvador is carrying further assessments. Caritas worries that the flooding will have longer-term consequences as the floods have wiped away much of this season’s harvest. “Food security in the next months is a major concern as much of the crops are already lost,” said Ilse Marlene Vallecillos. Meanwhile in Guatemala, Caritas Guatelama Director Victor Hugo Martinez is warning of a deteriorating situation. He reports that 130,000 people have been affected by the flooding as the government declared a national disaster. Choluteca region [...]

World Food Day: Calling for action against hunger at FAO

By |17 October 2011|

By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Policy Director I listened to Didi Bridgewater, walked past Claudia Cardinale, stood next to Jeremy Irons, saw Carl Lewis and took the elevator with Carla Fracci. What do you want more for a day? But where is the connection to food? All these celebrities are good-will ambassadors for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). They were calling for a greater commitment in the fight against hunger at a meeting to mark World Food Day today in Rome. Government representatives and NGO’s were gathered in the plenary hall at the FAO offices in Rome and along with the directors of FAO and the other UN food agencies WFP and IFAD. The message from Pope Benedict XVI was delivered by Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to FAO: “Many of our brothers and sisters do not have daily bread. The freedom from the […]

Reducing 9 out of 10 HIV infections in children

By |17 October 2011|

Caritas Internationalis and its HAART for Children campaign is playing a key role in the UNAIDS “Global Plan Towards The Elimination Of New HIV Infections Among Children By 2015 And Keeping Their Mothers Alive”. HAART is an acronym for “High Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment”. In 2009, Caritas Internationalis launched its “HAART for Children Campaign” in order to promote greater access to pediatric HIV and TB testing and treatment and scale-up programmes to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV”. At that time, 800 children were dying every day of AIDS related diseases. Their deaths were preventable. They were caused because the children had no access to early diagnosis of HIV or to child-friendly medicines to treat this deadly virus. Approximately 90 percent of these children were infected in the womb, at birth, or through breastfeeding. Their HIV-positive mothers had no access to simple and inexpensive treatment that could prevent the transmission of the virus to [...]

One in ten Colombians forced from their homes by conflict

By |15 October 2011|

By Adriana Arrieta Peace remains elusive in Colombia. Over 45 years of civil war has forced one in ten people from their homes today. Every day a Colombian is stripped of his belongings, his home or his life. His dreams, desires, and hopes are stolen. Many are forced to migrate to another city in which they can live in peace. Others have no choice but to abandon the country, in hope of fleeing from all the problems that afflict them and with which the government has been unable to help with. Figures from the NGO Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES) show 280,000 people were forced from their homes in Colombia in 2010 alone. They say Colombia has the highest combined internally displaced and refugee population in the world ( 5.28 million). It is a huge humanitarian crisis that most of the world has forgotten, and “international public awareness about the gravity of our [...]

Caritas responds to massive flooding in Asia

By |14 October 2011|

Monsoon rains and typhoons have inundated large areas of Asia, particularly in the Philippines, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Thousands of people have fled their homes; others are living on roofs. Caritas teams are distributing aid and helping families recover when their homes are damaged and their crops swept away. Caritas Philippines (locally called NASSA) is responding to typhoon damage in several dioceses. More than 5000 people are living in evacuation centres. Many more families are staying at home despite 7-foot-high water; they are living on second floors or staying with relatives who have two-storey houses. Caritas is distributing vouchers to 10,000 families for food, soap, detergent, and other necessities. In Cambodia, where floods have affected over 100,000 families, Caritas teams are on the ground in several provinces. Thousands of families have been evacuated to pagodas, schools and other government buildings. They lack food and health care. Caritas Cambodia is giving families [...]

Enormous catastrophe, enormous response in Japan

By |13 October 2011|

“I saw the water rising, and then the huge wave. Then the sea and the land were covered with fire—the whole city was on fire.” The words aren’t out of Revelations. Masato Sakamoto, a resident of Kesennumma on Japan’s east coast, is describing the events of 11 March 2011. “While it was burning, at sunset, the snow started falling.” In a city dozens of kilometres away, 79-year-old Keiko Kikuchi also saw the coastline burning as she scrambled uphill to escape the tsunami. “There was a path up the mountain,” she remembers. “At the end of the path, I had to climb with my hands. I don’t know how I did it.” “We saw the water at our backs. I saw my house filling with water and all the cars floating.” Not far from Keiko’s neighbourhood, Sakae Chida was helping children in her afterschool day care centre flee. They ran up to a [...]

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