Caritas Europa has expressed its concern about the situation of Roma across EU Member States today on 8 April, the International Day of Roma, and is calling for a renewed effort by the EU to promote the full inclusion of Roma people.
According to the most recent Caritas Europa ‘Europe 2020 Shadow Report’, the Roma population constitutes one of the largest ethnic minorities in Europe – between 10 and 12 million citizens. This minority is spread through the European continent and is highly concentrated in Central and Eastern Europe.
Jorge Nuño-Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa says:
“Across Europe, real progress in improving the living conditions and opportunities for Roma remains limited. Especially in certain countries, a high proportion of Roma persons are affected by extreme poverty and social exclusion. The Roma are the most marginalized ethnic group in Europe, facing deep social problems related to low educational levels, high unemployment, inadequate […]
Caritas Internationalis in collaboration with Caritas Syria held a high level meeting of Caritas organisations in the Vatican on 21-22 March to discuss and make further plans to help and provide assistance to all people suffering from the Syria crisis.
Caritas members pledged their support to the work of Caritas Syria, and to members in the region who are helping in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan with food, shelter, medical supplies, healthcare, education and finding employment in combined programmes of nearly €15 million. Those programmes have been focused over the last few months on helping Syrians survive the winter, but will be extended as we move into spring and summer.
Caritas provides aid to Syrians regardless of their political or religious beliefs.
At the end the meeting, Caritas organisations joined their voices to send a strong message of hope and solidarity to people suffering from the conflict in Syria: “In this Holy […]
Caritas is launching a wide-ranging response covering four countries to help those affected by the recent conflict in Mali which has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
A 3,055,134 euro (US$4 million) programme will strengthen Caritas organisations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal so they can help the hundreds of thousands of Malians affected by the crisis.
The prime focus of the programme is to provide aid to the internally displaced, refugees and others who are victims of the Mali conflict.
“The funds given to this emergency not only give us the chance to extend our solidarity to Malian refugees in a time of need but they also invest in helping Caritas organisations in the Sahel respond to the emergency together and to have a good grounding for collaboration on future emergencies,” said Gaston Goro, head of emergencies at Caritas Mali.
Over 5000 families (30-35,000 people) in Mali and […]
Bishops from Central African Republic (CAR) have made a desperate plea to the international community and their government to help communities who are being terrorised by rebels.
The country has been unstable since Seleka, a coalition of five separate rebel groups started to advance from the north in early December 2012. They have been accused of human rights abuses, including rape as a weapon of war. Communities who have been “taken hostage” by rebels have been cut off from any help and aid agencies have limited activity.
“A large part of regions in CAR is occupied by the SELEKA coalition,” said the bishops in a four-page message. “People in these areas are hostages, they live in fear, they flee into the bush and they abandon their fields. The sick are without care, hospitals are closed or have been completely destroyed and schools have been pillaged.”
Ten bishops signed the message, including Archbishop […]
Caritas is launching an appeal for funds to help communities in the Central African Republic who are still reeling from attacks on towns and communities by rebels.
The rebel forces started to advance in northeastern CAR in December 2012 and nearly brought about the fall of the capital Bangui. A ceasefire was agreed in January but the situation remains precarious.
The UN has condemned the use of child soldiers, rape, sexual slavery and the killing and maiming of civilians in the country. The threat of violence has meant that many people have left their homes. Meanwhile, some staff working for CORDAID (Caritas Netherlands) in Bangui were evacuated earlier this month.
“Once more people of the Central African Republic, women, children and young people in particular, have found themselves facing distress, famine and cut off from access to healthcare and hygiene facilities,” said Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, president of Caritas Central African Republic.
Caritas is […]
Caritas will help over half a million people in Sudan’s Darfur region this year as part of a US$9.6 million (7.3 million euro) programme.
Through its work with the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, a network of over 130 churches and related development organisations, Caritas will place a big focus on helping people become more self-sufficient.
“The joint ACT-Caritas programme provides badly needed basic services to people in Darfur year in year out. Now we’re making a big investment in livelihoods so people are more autonomous and communities can become more self-sufficient,” says Alistair Dutton, humanitarian director at Caritas and co-chair of the programme.
According to the UN, a total of 3.4 million people in Darfur are in need of humanitarian assistance. This figure includes 1.4 million displaced people (IDPs) in camps receiving food aid.
ACT-Caritas will continue to build community resilience by investing in water and sanitation, health, nutrition, education, social […]
The president of Caritas Mali, Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, has asked for a humanitarian corridor to be opened in his war-torn country. He also appealed to the global Caritas network and the international community to help those affected by the conflict currently being fought.
French and African troops are trying to prevent Islamic rebels who have taken control of northern Mali from advancing further.
Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako said, “A new period of suffering is beginning for the people of Mali. We would welcome support so that we can help the increasing number of displaced and refugees.”
Reports say up to 400,000 people have fled their homes either to southern Mali or to neighbouring countries since the rebels began advancing from the north last year. Some 18 million people lived through a severe food crisis in the region last year. It is feared that influxes of refugees will deplete low […]
Bishops in the Central African Republic (CAR) have called for a ceasefire and the opening of a humanitarian corridor after a month-long revolt by rebels. The bishops’ voices join that of Pope Benedict, who urged for a return to stability in the country earlier this week.
Caritas staff on the ground report pillaging and occupied villages, while many people have been displaced by fighting in central and northern CAR. Over a hundred people are reported to have been killed.
Fr Elysée Guedjandé, secretary general of Caritas CAR, said, “People are sleeping with host families or in churches or parish houses. Their most urgent needs include food, bedding, mosquito nets and anti-malarial medicine.”
While people were attending midnight mass in Kaga Bandoro on Christmas Eve armed men came and ransacked public buildings and destroyed the archives before occupying the town.
Bishop Albert Vanbuel of Kaga Bandoro says, “The situation risks getting worse. The rebels […]
Caritas Lebanon will assist in the evacuation of another group of Filipino refugees who are fleeing the war in Syria in a bid to return home.
Caritas Lebanon Migrants Centre social workers will await the group of 40 migrants on the Lebanon-Syria border on Sunday to help facilitate their repatriation before taking them to the airport. They have helped over 300 Filipino nationals plus some Sri Lankans leave Syria so far.
“Some of the refugees are so traumatised when they arrive that they are visibly shaking,” says Dima Haddad, from Caritas Lebanon, who headed one of the previous evacuations. “We try to get them to the airport and repatriated as quickly as possible.”
Processing the refugees’ evacuation can take up to 10 hours for each group. Caritas Lebanon has been working with the International Organization of Migration, and the Syrian and Philippines embassy to help facilitate the bureaucracy of leaving Syria and […]
Caritas is concerned that people in Gaza cannot meet their basic needs following the November conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The Caritas confederation is launching a €1.6 million (US$2.1 million) appeal to help vulnerable families who lack access to healthcare, are financially insecure and are unprepared for winter.
“After so many years of suffering, Gazans need the chance of a new beginning in which an era of peace reigns. As Christmas approaches, we mustn’t forget that Gaza lies not far from Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Lord. Let this fact inspire us to accompany Gazans in our thoughts, deeds and prayers, wherever we may be,” says Michel Roy, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis.
Efforts to help those in difficulty will be focused on areas including health, hygiene, counselling and providing cash assistance to people who have economic problems.
Four hospitals will receive medical supplies to boost their ability to treat those injured in […]
Caritas is launching a programme in the New Year to help Syrian refugees who have fled over the border to Turkey.
Official figures show there are over 120,000 Syrians in refugee camps in south and southeastern Turkey, but tens of thousands more have not been registered yet. Camps are filled to capacity and the number of people living outside them is increasing. Thousands of people are waiting every day to cross over the border from Syria.
“People need humanitarian support and solidarity. They need medicine, they need blankets, they need food, and mostly they need support of people who care them,” said Rinaldo Marmara, director of Caritas Turkey.
“Caritas Turkey has worked for refugees since 1991 and we have witnessed how difficult it is to be in a different country without work, without knowing the language, or without having basic resources. Day by day the number of Syrians coming to our office […]