May 19, 2011

Cardinal Sarah on Caritas Japan earthquake response

By |19 May 2011|

[slideshow] Cardinal Robert Sarah, Cor Unum President, has just returned from tsunami and earthquake ravaged Japan. Caritas Japan has provided 10,000 people with aid supported by Caritas members around the world. "Caritas Internationalis has done a great job coordinating all these resources," he told Zenit. "This effort has enabled Caritas Japan in recent weeks to provide food, blankets and basic necessities to more than 10,000 people affected." Read the full interview

10,000 people given Caritas aid after Japan’s earthquake

By |1 May 2011|

By Caritas Japan staff Caritas Japan staff members and volunteers have been providing food and other aid to 10,000 survivors following the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake was largest to have hit Japan on record and the tsunami caused destruction as far as 10 km inland. The quake caused a serious accident and a 20 km evacuation zone at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The overall cost could exceed $300 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster ever. In some areas, the transitional shelters had been ready and some families have already moved in, but many of the affected are still living in evacuation facilities.They are provided enough food, but are suffering from big stress under this abnormal lifestyle. The food from Caritas includes ready-to-eat meals, noodles and vegetables, while the other relief items include hygiene kits, clothing and school kits in both the tsunami and the nuclear affected [...]

April 5, 2011

Japan living in solidarity and not solitude

By |5 April 2011|

Bishop Isao Kikuchi, President of Caritas Japan, was elected President of Caritas Asia only two days before the devastating 11 March earthquake and tsunami in Japan. He tells Stefan Teplan from Caritas Germany about the Caritas response to the disaster and about his hopes and ambitions for Caritas Asia. How did has the recent disaster affected you personally and in your work with Caritas? First and most, the Tsunami-affected area is my home town. I was born in Miyako city where my father used to be a catechist. No family members are there now. Miyako city is one of several coastal cities which were badly damaged by the tsunami. People knew that the area was tsunami-prone and they were well prepared. But the wave was much more than what scientists had been predicting for many years. The experience really taught me that we are nothing against the power of Mother […]

March 25, 2011

Volunteering for Caritas Japan

By |25 March 2011|

By Yuzo Akai I’ve been a volunteer for Caritas for just over a week. I live in Sendai with my mother and four cats. Normally, I study American modern history at graduate school and I’m a part-time instructor in a college, but that has all changed for the moment following the earthquake and tsunami. As I am a Catholic I decided to help Caritas Japan in their earthquake relief effort. It gives me great pride to be part of an effort based on Catholic teaching. The power of the earthquake was a big shock to us – all that shaking! But what has really surprised me is the big difference between the stricken areas and the safe areas, where buildings aren’t even damaged. The most serious damage was not from the earthquake, but from the tsunami. Such a fine line has divided people’s fates. In some small areas there are […]

‘Ganbaro’ – the Japanese answer to earthquake tragedy

By |18 March 2011|

By Fr Daisuke Narui, Executive Director of Caritas Japan In Sendai City, there are people sleeping in shelters whose houses didn’t collapse in the  9.0 magnitude earthquake on 11 March. The people come to the shelters because they’re afraid and they don’t want to be alone. They go back to the house sometimes in the daytime, but then they come back to the shelter for dinner and to sleep. Caritas Japan has been contacting counsellors. At the moment the defence force is providing many things that the survivors need. People will forget about the disaster victims once they have been satisfied materially. As time passes, the survivors will become traumatised and lonely, so we’re seeking to engage counsellors who can start helping them in the next month or so. Caritas is also working with parishes to provide foods and blankets. The North Sendai parish soup kitchen almost ran out of […]

Caritas Japan visits earthquake-hit Sendai City

By |16 March 2011|

By Fr Daisuke Narui, Executive Director of Caritas Japan Today we visited Sendai City to discuss the Caritas response to the massive earthquake and tsunami. The city was very calm and there was no sense of panic despite every that has happened and the uncertainty that has taken over people’s lives. People were in orderly queues to collect petrol and food. At least in Sendai City the buildings have remained standing. I couldn’t even find a collapsed one. The story on the coast is very different. The tsunami which washed in and caused so much destruction and the loss of so many lives has left everything smelling and covered in mud. There are long walls of wrecked cars and destroyed houses. Towns and villages have been flattened and destroyed and life has been stopped in its tracks. It’s snowing today in Sendai and it’s very cold. There are many evacuees from areas near [...]

Japan faces devastation after earthquake and tsunami

By |14 March 2011|

Caritas Japan has launched a national donation campaign and is working closely with dioceses to support those affected by the earthquake and tsunami which hit the country on 11th March. Over 1,800 people are confirmed dead so far and many thousands more are missing following the disaster. The 8.9 magnitude earthquake is the strongest in Japan’s history. But it was the 30ft high tsunami which caused much of the devastation, washing away towns and infrastructure. The country is currently dealing with a nuclear crisis after the tsunami destabilised several nuclear plants, raising the risk of accidents and radiation exposure to the surrounding population. “We have received so many emails from all continents, filled with words of compassion and prayer. We are very grateful for this solidarity. We believe that aid activity is needed, but prayer is also important in such a situation,” said Bishop Isao Kikuchi, president of Caritas Japan. Caritas Japan is [...]

Caritas Japan on earthquake and tsunami

By |11 March 2011|

The biggest earthquake to hit Japan since records began 140 years ago has devastated the country's northeast coast and triggered a tsunami warning for the whole of the Pacific basin. Caritas Japan is mobilizing to respond to the 10 metre tsunami that struck in the region of the Diocese of Sendai today. “A tsunami has hit our people. Is a tidal wave has come to overwhelm our lives. We are still in shock over what has happened,” Father Koichi Otaki of the Diocese of Niigata told Fides. “The news is mixed, but the diocese most affected is that of Sendai. Our Bishop, Bishop Isao Kikuchi, President of Caritas Japan, ensures us that as the Japanese Catholic community, though very small, we will not walk away from our commitment and our solidarity with the victims.” “The tsunami reminds us of the precariousness of life. Solidarity and assistance to the victims [...]

August 16, 2008

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    Imagine globalisation based on solidarity: View from the summit

Imagine globalisation based on solidarity: View from the summit

By |16 August 2008|

In January, Caritas Internationalis Secretary-General Lesley-Anne Knight found common ground at the World Economic Forum in Davos as business and political leaders highlighted the importance of faith-based organisations in achieving the MDGs. In April, Pope Benedict XVI visited the UN in New York. “Questions of security, development goals, reduction of local and global inequalities, protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate, require all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law, and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet,” he said. Cardinal Rodríguez wrote to G8 countries Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the United States: “There is now a real danger that the Millennium Development Goals will be remembered as empty words. This can only fuel the cynicism with which so many people in developing countries already regard rich countries’ expressions of [...]

July 9, 2008

G8 delivers false dawn in land of the rising sun

By |9 July 2008|

Caritas says that the G8 Summit in Japan has delivered a plan of inaction on Africa, aid and climate change. Caritas Representative at the G8, Joseph Donnelly said, “The outcomes of the 2008 G8 are stalemate on climate change and a broken record on aid for Africa. The world was looking for fresh leadership, but instead got Groundhog Day.” The Japan G8 promised to uphold previous pledges made at the 2005 G8 summit on increased levels of aid, but contained no detail on how they were going to do that or how they were going to reverse the reality that aid levels are in decline. Three years into the G8’s five year plan on increasing overseas aid to $50 billion a year, only a fifth of the money has been delivered. The Japan G8 failed to address the $27bn shortfall in aid that is putting a potential 5 million lives at risk. [...]

G8 falls short on Climate Change

By |8 July 2008|

Caritas says the G8 Summit in Japan has not gone far enough on cutting the necessary carbon emissions to stem global warming. G8 leaders announced plans to cut carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050. Caritas Internationalis says that figure falls short of what is needed to save the planet. Caritas Internationalis Representative Joseph Cornelius Donnelly is at the G8 in Japan, representing the 162 member organisations of the Catholic charity network. Mr. Donnelly said, “The G8 has a track record of producing glass is half full, glass is half empty statements. But now they’re playing heads or tails with the future of our planet in a decision that will affect generations to come long after this G8 is forgotten. "Caritas welcomes the improvement in strengthening commitments from last year. If this is the base starting point of negotiations then we’re in business. If it is the hoped for goal then it represents a huge failure in leadership.” The G8 said [...]

Churches warn G8: A billion people may face hunger

By |7 July 2008|

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday urged G8 leaders to take measures to fight poverty and hunger at a time of soaring food and oil prices. More than 850 million people were already living without enough to eat before the food crisis that began as prices shot up in the early months of 2008. The current food crisis will put at least another 100 million people into the same situation. "Their vulnerability has increased today because of financial speculation and turbulence, with a perverse effect on food and energy prices," Pope Benedict said. "I call for generosity and farsightedness to help take decisions that would relaunch an equitable development process." Noting that some have actually profited from the food crisis, Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, urged G8 leaders to support the creation of competition rules that would regulate international trade, particularly including trade in food. “Trade in food is dominated by a [...]

G8 Summit in Japan

By |1 July 2008|

The G8 Summit in Hokkaido brought together leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the United States.  Caritas campaigned for the G8 to live up to past commitments on aid quantity and to bridge the gap between development and climate change. But in the Land of the Rising Sun, the G8 promised a false dawn on climate change and aid. News Final Communiqué: Ground Hog Day G8 falls short on climate change Pope Benedict XVI message Caritas goes to the G8 Our campaign Caritas at the G8 Read the blog of Joseph Donnelly, the Caritas representative at the G8 Day Three: Next stop Rome 2009 Day Two: Climate change Day One: A stormy start Features Questions and answers with Caritas Japan Postcard to G8 Tanebata campaign Thanks to all the people who took part in our G8 Tanabata action. On the first day of the Summit, over one million messages demanding the G8 honour their promises to tackle poverty were [...]

G8 guilty of all the good they didn’t do

By |1 July 2008|

Caritas Internationalis says that the G8 leaders must use their summit in Japan to salvage their reputation on aid and help millions out of poverty.  Leaders of Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US meet 7-9 July in Hokkaido, Japan with progress on development and climate change on the agenda. In the case of the international community as a whole, total aid fell by 8.4% in 2007 in comparison with 2006, after a fall of 5.1% between 2005 and 2006. Aid is having an impact, but a predicted short fall of $27bn will put a potential 5 million lives at risk. The 2008 G8 is at the halfway point to the deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals with the anti-poverty targets way off target. Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organisation for 162 national Catholic charities, fears that a failure to see through previous G8 aid pledges will [...]

June 17, 2008

Caritas President: Poverty targets missed unless G8 act

By |17 June 2008|

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga says it will be a scandal if we fail the poor in developing countries due to lack of financing from rich countries. Leaders of G8 countries will meet from 7-9 July in Hokkaido, Japan to discuss development, among other issues. The G8 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the United States. Caritas is urging them to live up to past commitments on aid quantity and quality to ensure there is financing for a series of anti-poverty targets called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In the case of the international community as a whole total aid fell by 8.4% in 2007 in comparison with 2006, after a fall of 5.1% between 2005 and 2006. In a joint statement by Caritas and CIDSE (the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity) and signed by Cardinal Rodriguez, the Caritas Internationalis President said, “We regret that [...]

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