• Women and children in Burkina Faso, where nearly two million people face hunger.

Credits: Caritas
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    Caritas urges action now to avoid future crisis in Burkina Faso

Caritas urges action now to avoid future crisis in Burkina Faso

By |22 March 2012|

Caritas nutritional centres in Burkina Faso will be protecting over 21,000 under-fives from malnutrition as fears of a food crisis grow across West Africa’s Sahel region.

Nearly two million people face hunger in Burkina Faso, where the price of corn has increased by a third compared to 2010 and the production of grain has fallen by 16 percent.

Caritas is launching an appeal for €1.7 million ($ 2.3 million) to provide food and other aid for over 45,000 people in Burkina Faso. Caritas is also working across the region, in Niger, Mali, Chad, Senegal and Mauritania.

“We must act now to avoid tragedy in the months to come,” said Fr Isidore Ouedraogo, the executive secretary of OCADES-Caritas Burkina Faso. “Today, we are witnessing thousands of people who eat only one meal a day. By intervening now, Caritas will help them survive the lean season when the lack of food is most acute.”

Caritas […]

Justice and care for migrant women

By |7 March 2012|

More women than ever before are migrating alone in search of a better life, but Caritas Internationalis says systems aren’t in place to prevent them from being exploited or abused. In a report published today, Caritas says governments and social services dealing with migration need to address migrant women’s needs.

In its report The female face of migration: advocacy and best practices for women who migrate and the families they leave behind, Caritas documents the challenges faced by some of over 104 million women who are seeking opportunities outside their homelands and travelling independently from their families. Some find better jobs, education opportunities and greater freedoms. But too frequently on their journey and upon arrival they are cheated, abused, raped or discriminated against.

“We urgently need to change the way we think about women’s migration,” says Caritas Internationalis Advocacy and Policy Director Martina Liebsch, “because the current system is failing to protect […]

  • Jane Andanje, the Deputy Coordinator of the Caritas Coordination Unit, with some children who have fled the fighting.

Credits: Renee Lambert/CRS
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    Growing crisis in South Sudan’s Jonglei as fighting continues

Growing crisis in South Sudan’s Jonglei as fighting continues

By |26 January 2012|

Fears are growing over the increasingly ethnic and violent nature of the conflict in South Sudan’s Jonglei State. It’s the latest fighting in the region following independence for South Sudan last July.

Aid workers from Caritas and Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member) joined an assessment team to Boma in South Sudan at the weekend. Over 2300 people have fled to the small town (pop. estimated at 7000) following violence in Jonglei in recent weeks.

The team was looking at the shelter needs in Boma. Most people have found a place among in the thatch-walled compounds of residents and the local government has distributed IOM kits containing essential items.

Boma is the furthest people have fled in sizable numbers and more continue to arrive daily. There is growing concern for those trapped closer to the conflict. A day’s walk is the isolated town of Labraap, where 10,000 people are said […]

Hunger warning for North Korea

By |21 December 2011|

As world attention focuses on the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, Caritas urges the international community not to neglect millions of hungry people in the isolated Asian nation.

Floods, a harsh winter, poor farming infrastructure in North Korea and rising global food prices have left two-thirds of the 24.5 million populations without enough to eat. Caritas says aid is desperately needed in the country, but North Koreans risk becoming victims of political tensions on the peninsula.

Caritas members including Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Michel Roy met in December in Seoul to discuss the worsening crisis in North Korea and how best to respond to the needs of the people in the politically isolated country.

“Charity does not know any borders,” said Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio to Korea, at the meeting. “In all these difficult realities of human pain and suffering, Caritas Korea continues to demonstrate, practically and effectively, that […]

  • A girl searches for salvageable items after flash floods brought by Typhoon Washi (Sendong) in Macasandig town, Cagayan De Oro city, southern Philippines December 17, 2011.

Credits: REUTERS/Stringer courtesy of alertnet.org
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    Caritas teams on the ground in flood-hit southern Philippines

Caritas teams on the ground in flood-hit southern Philippines

By |17 December 2011|

Caritas teams continue to fan out over the southern Philippine island of Mindanao to help families suffering because of massive flash flooding. Over 600 people died in the flood, and parts of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City were washed away. Tens of thousands of people are living in evacuation centres like university gyms.

“Because Mindanao is not used to having storms like this, many people were caught unprepared,” says Bishop Broderick Pabillo, auxiliary bishop of Manila. “This may be a result of climate change–typhoons come at times and places where they usually do not. This storm cost a lot of human lives and caused a lot of damage.”

Caritas Philippines, known within the country as NASSA, has sent a team to the Diocese of Iligan. Catholic Relief Services, a Caritas member from the USA, has a team on the ground in Cagayan de Oro.

News sources report that the number […]

  • Europe 2020 Strategy Must Include both Economic and Social Dimensions
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    Europe 2020 Strategy Must Include both Economic and Social Dimensions

Europe 2020 Strategy Must Include both Economic and Social Dimensions

By |14 December 2011|

Caritas Europa delivers a “Shadow Report” on the Europe 2020 Strategy from the perspective of 16 Organizations in the Caritas network across the EU.

A new report addressing several key aspects of the Europe 2020 Strategy concludes that the issue of poverty and social exclusion and the policies to address them should be framed in an integrated manner to include both economic and social dimensions. The report has been developed within the Caritas Europa core strategic activity of Advocacy and Public Campaigning towards decision-makers in Europe.

It constitutes an assessment of the first year of implementation of “Europe 2020”, the overarching reform strategy of the EU for the next decade. In keeping with the inclusive partnership approach proclaimed by Europe 2020 regarding the design and implementation of EU policies, sixteen national Caritas organisations were asked to analyse the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) in their respective country.

Main findings include:

The governments focus on reductions in […]

  • An interfaith and civil society rally for climate justice in Durban during UN talks.

Credits: Patrick Nicholson/Caritas
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    Durban disappoints with lowest common denominator climate change deal

Durban disappoints with lowest common denominator climate change deal

By |12 December 2011|

Caritas says a deal reached at climate talks in Durban leaves the world facing a catastrophic 4C increase in global temperatures.

The Durban COP17 summit ended with governments agreeing to work towards a legal treaty that will bind developed and developing countries to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.N. talks in South Africa extended the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, allowing five more years to reach a wider pact.

Caritas welcomed the progress made during talks, but says science shows it’s not enough to stop widespread droughts and the creation of millions of migrants as food production collapses. 

Caritas Internationalis Director of Advocacy and Policy Martina Liebsch said, “We are all polluting the environment now and everyone, every country should take responsibility for that.”

Caritas says it was important to get the commitment at Durban towards a legally binding deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement was in large part due to leadership from a progressive alliance […]

  • Twenty Caritas delegation will be taking part in several events in Durban in focusing on the impact of climate change in Africa.

Credits: Courtesy of COP17/CMP7 brand
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    Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga to call for climate justice at UN talks in Durban

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga to call for climate justice at UN talks in Durban

By |24 November 2011|

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga will travel to UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa 29 November to 5 December.

He will urge governments for a deal on climate change that puts poor communities in developing countries first and provides for a sustainable future.

Cardinal Rodriguez and Caritas South Africa will be leading a delegation of representatives from the Caritas confederation’s over 160 Catholic aid agency membership.

The 20-strong Caritas delegation will be taking part in several events in Durban in focusing on the impact of climate change in Africa.

Cardinal Rodriguez said, “Our climate is changing. Caritas organisations are responding to increasing unpredictability and extreme weather conditions experienced around the world. This year we saw floods in Central America, South and South East Asia and drought across East Africa.

“Urgent action is necessary. Climate negotiators in Durban must not further delay agreeing to international legislation to curb the threat of climate […]

  • Bishop Sánchez, Cardinal Rodriguez and Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Michel Roy.

Credits: Caritas
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    Caritas Internationalis Executive Committee 100th meeting focuses on economic crisis

Caritas Internationalis Executive Committee 100th meeting focuses on economic crisis

By |15 November 2011|

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, addressed representatives of Caritas Internationalis on the economic crisis facing much of the world.

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga had invited the academic to address the 100th Executive Committee meeting of the confederation’s founding 60 years ago.

The Caritas Internationalis Executive Committee is composed of Caritas representatives from around the world. They are responsible for day-to-day governance issues of the 160 member confederation and for promoting its global agenda.

Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences aims to promote the study and progress of economics, sociology, law and political science to support the development of the Catholic Church’s social doctrine.

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo told Caritas delegates that finance and the economy can benefit society if they are tailored towards the common good, but financial institutions can be destructive if unregulated.

He saidn “a large number of people around the world believe we […]

International concern for humanitarian crisis in Colombia

By |11 November 2011|

The Caritas Working Group for Colombia says the human rights situation in Córdoba continues to be critical.

Caritas launches appeal for Thailand’s flood survivors

By |2 November 2011|

In the wake of floods that submerged homes, crops, factories and more, Caritas Internationalis is calling for EUR 506,494 to help the people of Thailand.

This year’s strikingly heavy monsoon rain led to flooding in the majority of Thailand’s provinces, affecting over 8 million people. Caritas Thailand immediately responded to the crisis by distributing food, soap, and other essentials to thousands of families through diocesan partners.

“In the provinces up north, it came as a surprise,” says Bishop Pibul Visitnondachai, President of the Social Pastoral Commission of the Church in Thailand. “Many people were not prepared and had no time to move themselves and their belongings.”

Though many sections of Bangkok were spared, the damage to factories and farms in the provinces has been extensive and far-reaching. Rice fields have been inundated, with small- scale farmers especially hard hit. Some families are living on the roofs of their houses or in emergency […]

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 […]

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 […]

  • "Drought triggered the current crisis, but it’s as much a manmade as natural disaster." said Caritas Internationalis Humanitarian Director Alistair Dutton

Credits: Eoghan Rice/Trocaire
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    Caritas aids one million people in East Africa as Pope makes food crisis plea

Caritas aids one million people in East Africa as Pope makes food crisis plea

By |5 October 2011|

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday 5 October highlighted the plight of 13 million people at risk in East Africa’s ongoing food crisis. Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and other parts of the region face a severe food crisis caused by drought, conflict and social injustice. Somalia is the first famine of the 21st century, with hundreds of thousands of people in danger and one in three children suffering from malnutrition.

Pope Benedict urged the international community to tackle the humanitarian emergency. He invited everyone “to offer prayers and practical help for so many brothers and sisters so harshly tested, particularly the children in the region.”

The Caritas network of Catholic aid agencies is helping over one million people in East Africa’s food crisis, providing families with food, clean water, and a way to support themselves in the future. Caritas is developing and implementing programmes worth more than €30 million ($41 million).

Presented to Pope […]

Caritas to help 48,000 Somali refugees in Kenya

By |30 September 2011|

In Somalia, drought and ongoing conflict have reached crisis levels and affect over half of the population. More than 250,000 Somalis have fled their country in 2011 alone. The mass movement of rural Somalis across the border to Kenya has put significant pressure on already overcrowded refugee camps in Kenya.

Caritas Internationalis is appealing for €3,684,050 ($5 million US) to build water and sanitation facilities in a new refugee camp outside of Dadaab, Kenya, near the Somali border.

“Without proper sanitation, refugees already weakened by their long journey from Somalia to Kenya will fall prey to waterborne diseases,” says PM Jose, Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services Kenya, which will implement the project. “Building water systems, latrines, and showers will keep illness at bay.”

CRS Kenya will provide latrines, showers, and handwashing stations for 48,000 refugees currently relocating to Kambios, the newest of several refugee camps in Dadaab. CRS will also promote […]

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