Caritas appeal for crisis-hit Congo

By |30 November 2012|

Caritas is appealing for more than US $2.6 million to assist people caught up in the latest conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. M23 rebels seized Goma, the provincial capital of Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern North Kivu province on 20 November from government forces. Recent clashes have forced more than 140,000 people to flee their homes and seek refuge in camps or makeshift accommodation. Local Caritas staff in Goma are working in challenging conditions with transport to provide those displaced with food and other aid items. “Unlike the electricity, we operate full time and all our Caritas team members are in the field working around the clock,” said Fr Oswald Musoni , Director of Caritas Goma. “We have done assessments and have now started food distribution, provided by WFP in the largest camp. “The situation is still very fluid , people are not sure what will happen next, but all the schools, [...]
  • While all need to take their responsibility to address climate change, the world’s most advanced economies should take the lead, reducing emissions significantly.

Credits: UNFCCC
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    Doha summit must lay foundations for climate justice, Catholic development networks say

Doha summit must lay foundations for climate justice, Catholic development networks say

By |22 November 2012|

(Brussels/Rome, 22/12/2012) According to CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis, greater cuts in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, money on the table to support the vulnerable communities most affected by climate change, and a clear work plan towards a global climate deal in 2015 are the main ingredients for a successful COP18 climate summit in Doha, Qatar (26 November -7 December 2012).  In order to pave the way towards a fair, effective and binding new climate deal in 2015, CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis, which represent 180 Catholic development agencies from North and South, say that Doha must deliver serious commitments and concrete progress. While all need to take their responsibility to address climate change, the world’s most advanced economies should take the lead, reducing emissions significantly. The Kyoto Protocol is currently the only binding global tool to reduce emissions, but many of the world’s biggest GHG emitters either don’t take part in it [...]

Catholic Church in Africa outraged by Congo violence

By |22 November 2012|

African Catholic Church leaders meeting in Kinshasa say that escalating violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo is causing a major humanitarian tragedy. Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences and Bishop-Presidents of national Caritas organisations from 34 countries in Africa signed a statement condemning the conflict, which has seen the city of Goma fall to ‘M23’ rebels on 20 November. The African bishops say, “We are outraged and shocked by the escalating armed violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo which is causing again a major human tragedy. “Thousands of men, women and children, the victims of this war which is imposed on them, are displaced and abandoned in destitution in Goma and its surroundings. They are exposed to the bad weather, hunger, rape and all kinds of abuses, including recruiting of children into the army. This constitutes an offence to their dignity as human beings and children of God.” Caritas staff [...]

Caritas behind the fight against trafficking

By |9 November 2012|

COATNET (Christian Organisations Against Trafficking NETwork) is an ecumenical network of organisations working with Christian churches which is coordinated by Caritas Internationalis.

Earthquake survivors in Guatemala need shelter and aid

By |9 November 2012|

Caritas Guatemala is calling on communities to show solidarity with those affected by the country’s earthquake by donating goods which are in short supply.

Greater protection for migrants in the time of crisis

By |21 October 2012|

Caritas urges governments to fight the exploitation of migrants by offering decent work, social protection and greater opportunities for human development. In a statement for the Global Forum on Migration and Development, Caritas warns that the economic crisis which has led to cuts in public spending, unemployment and the tightening of borders to restrict migrant entry have had a major impact on migrants and their ability to contribute to local development. “Migrants the world over, but most of all women, are vulnerable to abuse,” says Martina Liebsch director of policy at Caritas Internationalis. “Migrants have the same rights as everyone to life, liberty, security, education, medical care and decent work. We urge governments to make protecting migrants a priority.” More specifically, Caritas asks the Global Forum to consider the following issues: Protection and promotion of the contribution of migrant women to human development. Women are often the primary breadwinner in their families and increasingly [...]

Caritas struggling to meet Syria crisis needs

By |16 October 2012|

Caritas Syria is struggling to meet people’s needs as the conflict situation in the country worsens. More than a year of conflict has left over one million people displaced in the country. Three hundred thousand have fled Syria, giving rise to increasing humanitarian needs across the region. Pascal Kateb, Director of Caritas Syria said, “The situation for Syrian people is dramatic . We need to do more to help as the humanitarian needs are increasing daily. Although we do our best we are not able to meet all the needs of the people who seek our help.” Caritas is reinforcing its response in all countries bordering Syria with particular focus on operations in Lebanon and Jordan. However, the increasing flow of refugees cannot be absorbed or integrated without straining the resources of the host communities. Life for most Syrians is very difficult, but Caritas is particularly concerned about the long-term effects on children [...]

Caritas helping flood-hit Philippines

By |12 October 2012|

Caritas is appealing for funds to help families in the Philippines, many of whom are living in temporary evacuation centres following massive floods. Heavy rains in early August left over 100 people dead and hundreds of thousands of families without shelter and food. Conditions are still very difficult with food scarce and many people unable to return home. Caritas will care for over 6000 families in five dioceses, providing food, hygiene items and cooking utensils. The cost of the two-month programme will be 352,050 euro. Priority will be given to vulnerable people such as pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled and child-headed households who have either lost their homes completely or whose homes have been severely damaged by water. Caritas’ work in the flood areas aims to prevent illness and further deaths caused by such difficult living conditions. When the floods first struck Caritas mobilised its network of diocesan centres and church volunteers [...]

Helping flood-hit Pakistan

By |11 October 2012|

Caritas has launched a three-month emergency programme to help families following severe flooding in Pakistan. The programme will cost US$1.4 million (€1.1 million). Heavy rains in August and September hit the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan and have left hundreds of dead and tens of thousands of people homeless. Caritas in Pakistan will provide tents, blankets, food and medical assistance for the next three months to many people who are in difficulty. “People are facing many challenges following the floods,” says Amjad Gulzar, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan. “Stagnant and contaminated water, lack of food and hygiene facilities all present serious risks to those living in temporary conditions and make people vulnerable to gastroenteritis, malaria and skin problems as well as other illnesses.” Six thousand families will be given tents by Caritas Pakistan until they can find more permanent accommodation. Nine thousand five hundred families will receive food and hygiene kits. People can [...]

Caritas appeals for help in famine-hit Somalia

By |10 October 2012|

Caritas is appealing for funds to help farming households in Somalia struggling with famine following a long-term drought. Funds will support Catholic Relief Services (CRS – a US member of the Caritas confederation) who are working with local partners on a five month emergency programme in the neediest areas of south central Somalia. CRS requires a total of US$2.6 million (€2 million) for the programme, which will run until March 2013. Of this, US1.9 million (€1.5 million) is sought among members of the Caritas confederation. “The nutritional situation is critical in some areas of southern Somalia,” says Malone Miller, country manager for CRS Somalia. “Many adults are eating just one meal a day and children also don’t have enough to eat. Families are selling livestock, borrowing money and migrating in search of food and work.” CRS will focus on providing food to 5000 agro-pastoralist households to support them until the next harvest in [...]

Caritas at the Synod of Bishops on evangelisation

By |8 October 2012|

Caritas Internationalis secretary general, Michel Roy, is participating in the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican which started on 7th October. The meeting will look at the theme of New Evangelisation for the Transmission of Christian Faith. Mr Roy has been invited to attend in the role of auditor and will make a contribution in the name of the Caritas confederation. “Charitable actions are a fundamental aspect of evangelisation,” says Mr Roy. “It is in charity that we find a real test to the faith that we proclaim and it is in the love we show others through charity that God reveals himself.” Pope Benedict opened the synod to 370 participants at the Vatican yesterday for three weeks of collaboration and spiritual reflection. Contact Michelle Hough, Communications Officer, at +39 334 234 4136 or hough@caritas.va

Governments must give hope to domestic workers

By |4 October 2012|

Caritas urges governments to ratify the international convention which encourages the better treatment and protection of domestic workers. The call comes as the International Day for Decent Work is marked on 7th October. The International Labour Organization’s Convention 189 protects domestic workers’ rights by limiting working hours, ensuring they have holidays and regulating international employment agencies among other things. But the Convention is only effective if it is ratified by countries with communities of domestic workers. To be ‘decent’, work should be an opportunity for the individual to contribute to society, while achieving personal development. It should be performed according to a set of fair rules, starting with the respect of the person performing tasks. Domestic work is done by poor women, many of them migrants or even minors, in private households. This means the workers are at risk from exploitation regarding over-work, poor pay and sometimes physical and mental abuse. Convention 189 [...]

Away alone: Protect children who migrate by themselves

By |25 September 2012|

Children migrating alone to other countries are vulnerable to abuse. Caritas calls for better protection for them and a stronger focus on their needs. Children migrate alone because their families want to protect them against violence or hunger, or want them to send money back to help the family. According to a 2010 study by Catholic Relief Services (Caritas member in the USA), abuses facing unaccompanied Central American children in Mexico ranged from robbery, extortion, intimidation, verbal abuse, and physical abuse, the last two being the most frequent. The CRS study says children suffered abuse while in transit, when apprehended, while in detention or during the deportation or repatriation process. Caritas members and church bodies in other parts of the world have reported similar situations of abuse. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child will discuss the contents and implications of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the context [...]

New Caritas communications system to help serve poor

By |18 September 2012|

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has launched a new internal web platform called ‘Caritas Baobab’ where Caritas members worldwide can connect and work together. Linking together staff in more than 160 countries, Caritas Baobab will streamline Caritas’ communication system and its ability to respond quickly to natural disasters and other emergencies, coordinate advocacy, provide training and share resources. “Caritas Baobab will provide state-of-the-art technology to help us serve the poor,” says Cardinal Rodriguez. “The more efficiently we can respond to emergencies, the more suffering we can prevent. The more people we can mobilize around one issue, the more chance we have of bringing about real change. In the modern world, fast, accurate information is key to our work. Caritas Baobab is about creating a platform so the right people talk to each other, come up with ideas and work together on delivering them.” The Caritas Baobab system, or ‘Baobab’ for [...]
  • Villagers fetch water from a water point constructed through a Caritas cash for work program.

Credits: Caritas Ethiopia
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    Ethiopia drought relief work ‘still critical,’ says Caritas

Ethiopia drought relief work ‘still critical,’ says Caritas

By |23 August 2012|

Caritas is launching a new appeal to continue its lifesaving work in drought-stricken areas of Ethiopia. Its programmes will help farmers and herders produce more food, and will also improve water systems and infrastructure in remote areas. “The drought was at its worst in 2011, and its effects are still being felt in some parts of the country,” says Shiferaw Mamo, Social Development Programme Coordinator of the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (Caritas Ethiopia). “We can’t let up our efforts now.” The belg (small) rains expected in the first half of 2012 were poor, resulting in ongoing food problems in many farming areas. The government of Ethiopia recently indicated that approximately 3.76 million people require food assistance from August to December 2012. Caritas’ new programme, which is targeting more than 60,000 families, will give sheep, goats, cattle, bee colonies and chickens to families who lost livestock during the drought. To conserve the limited water [...]

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