Patrick Nicholson is Director of Communications at Caritas Internationalis. He focuses on disasters and conflict, food and climate change, HIV and health, migration and trafficking, development and general issues around the operations of Caritas around the world.
Cheers rang out from the 40,000 people trapped in the Catholic Mission in Bossangoa as peacekeeping troops arrived. “It came as a huge relief,” said Fr. Alain Eouanzoui, the Vicar General of Bossangoa, “We believe the nightmare might soon be over.”
In June, I visited Lebanon to see the work of Caritas with Syrian refugees. We went up to the Bekaa Valley, which runs along the border with Syria. It’s a wide, green valley, dotted with towns and farms. It’s a beautiful place, even now.
Many in Hela believe they will see their traditional way of life gone forever but will not receive their fair share of the profits. Suspicion that others are getting a better deal is rife. People fear corruption or favouritism. Tension is high, optimism low.