June 12, 2012

G20 must tackle hunger by fighting its roots causes

By |12 June 2012|

The Caritas-CIDSE G20 Network of Catholic agencies says making sure all people have access to appropriate food must be the priority for the leaders of G20 economies as they meet 18-19 June in Mexico. There are 925 million people in the world without enough to eat. About 300 children die from malnutrition every hour while one in four children is stunted, and in developing countries that figure rises to one in three. Yet we produce more than enough food globally to feed everyone. The Caritas-CIDSE G20 Network says reducing inequality and promoting sustainable development must be at the heart of the G20s plans to address food insecurity in the short, medium and long term. Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Michel Roy said, “Hunger is not inevitable. It must be tackled by fighting its structural causes, primarily by promoting sustainable agricultural development of poor countries.” CIDSE Secretary General Bernd Nilles said, “The Mexican G20 has [...]

May 28, 2012

Peacebuilding conference in Rome

By |28 May 2012|

Catholic leaders from some of the world’s worst conflict zones will gather in Rome on May 29 and 30 to discuss ways to make peace. Participants representing Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other hotspots will attend “New Challenges for Catholic Peacebuilding” to share methods that defuse violence and reconcile warring groups. “In South Sudan, the Philippines, and Congo, in the Middle East and Central America, the Catholic Church is a powerful force for justice and reconciliation,” says Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who is leading the meeting. “But this impressive and courageous peacebuilding often remains unknown, underanalyzed and unappreciated.” “We all hear about the bombs," says Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. “But much of our reconciliation efforts are related to longstanding internal situations of oppression and injustice.” Anticipating the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem [...]

Caritas congress seeks a future free from hunger

By |28 May 2012|

Caritas is hosting an International Congress on World Hunger and Food Security 1 to 2 June 2012 in Vienna, Austria to find global solutions to why 925 million people worldwide suffer from hunger. “Every 12 seconds a child dies of hunger. Hunger is not inevitable; the causes are social, economic and political,” said President of Caritas Internationalis Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, one of the keynote speakers. Delegates from around the world will discuss the structural causes of hunger, how aid agencies can intervene effectively and the fundamental right to food. The congress underscores that the fight against hunger is at the heart of the work of Caritas confederation in service to the poor and must also be a priority for governments. Food security will be important issues at the upcoming Rio +20 meeting and for the post Millennium Goals agenda. Caritas wants to unite the international community around the fight for the eradication of [...]
  • Credits: Caritas Internationalis
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    Pope Benedict encourages work of Caritas for those most in need

Pope Benedict encourages work of Caritas for those most in need

By |16 May 2012|

Pope Benedict XVI greeted delegates from Caritas Internationalis during his weekly General Audience, encouraging their work for the poor. Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga received updated Statutes and Rules and a General Decree from the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on behalf of Pope Benedict on 2 May. The revised Statutes and Rules provide a legal basis reflecting the new standing of Caritas as a ‘public canonical juridical personality’ bestowed by Blessed John Paul II in 2004. The new status formally recognises that Caritas carries out its charitable activities in the name of the Catholic Church and strengthens its working relationship with the Holy See. Cardinal Rodriguez attended the General Audience along with members of the Caritas Internationalis governance bodies, the Representative Council and the Executive Board. “Your presence here today expresses your communion with the Successor of Peter and your readiness to welcome the new juridical framework of your organisation,” [...]

Caritas Internationalis welcomes new papal decrees

By |3 May 2012|

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga received approved updated Statutes and Rules and a General Decree from the Cardinal Secretary of State on 2 May 2012 on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI. This was the culmination of a process that started in 2004 when Pope John Paul II gave Caritas Internationalis a ‘public juridical’ personality, making it an entity of the Holy See. This outcome was expected and Caritas Internationalis welcomes this important time in its history. The mission of Caritas is confirmed as part of the institutional church, embodying both its role as a confederation of 164 members and an entity of the Holy See. Caritas Internationalis new governing bodies, the Representative Council and Executive Board, will meet 15-17 May in Rome as planned. (Under the new Statutes and Rules, the Representative Council replaces the Executive Committee and the Bureau becomes the Executive Board.) The new Statutes and Rules of Caritas Internationalis [...]
  • Pope Benedict approves new legal structure for Caritas Internationalis
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    Pope Benedict approves new legal structure for Caritas Internationalis

Pope Benedict approves new legal structure for Caritas Internationalis

By |2 May 2012|

Pope Benedict XVI has given his seal of approval via the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to new Statutes and Rules  governing Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organisation for 164 national Catholic aid and development agencies. Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga received the new Statutes and Rules and a General Decree during a morning meeting at the Vatican 2 May 2012 with Holy See officials. “This is a day of joy and hope for Caritas Internationalis,” said Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga. “Our new Statutes and Rules will modernise our work in delivering humanitarian assistance and development in service to the poor. They will provide us with the framework to carry out our work as part of the mission of the Church.” The revision of the Statutes and Rules began in 2007. They have been updated to reflect Venerable Pope John Paul II granting Canonical Legal Status to Caritas Internationalis in 2004. Caritas Internationalis [...]

April 24, 2012

Sudan and South Sudan must step back from war

By |24 April 2012|

Caritas Internationalis fears that a full scale war is imminent between Sudan and South Sudan with dire humanitarian consequences for both unless there is pull back from further military action. South Sudan became independent from Sudan last July following a popular vote. It was the culmination of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of war. However, areas of contention including border demarcation, the status of disputed areas in Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile and oil rights still have not been resolved. The Caritas confederation of over 160 Catholic aid agencies fears that recent clashes over these issues have now brought the two countries to the brink. Caritas is also concerned over the use of extreme rhetoric by officials and that it is inciting an environment of fear. Attacks in Sudan on Christians such as the ransacking of the Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum on Saturday are deeply troubling. Over 500,000 South [...]

Caritas closes local office in conflict hit northern Mali

By |2 April 2012|

Caritas Mali says its local office in Gao in northern Mali was destroyed along with the local church after Tuareg rebels seized the city at the weekend. Despite the conflict in the north and a coup last month, Caritas Mali says its operations providing desperately needed food aid to the rest of the country continue. The Tuareg rebels have seized three regional capitals in as many days. The main rebel group is the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). They are operating alongside the Islamist group Ansar Edine, who have links to Al Qaeda’s north African branch. Fr Jean-Jacques, director of Caritas Gao said, “Caritas staff fled Gao on Saturday. We learned from our guard today that the centre and the church compound have been destroyed. “We have received calls from the small Catholic community left in Gao. They are now in hiding, fearing for their lives.” Fr Jean-Jacques says there are [...]

March 30, 2012

  • In San, Ségou Region, Mali, Caritas launches Food-for-Work programme. Recipients perform work against remuneration in the form of food. Groups particularly vulnerable populations - for example pregnant women and small children - receive food at a heavily discounted price.

Credits: Caritas Switzerland
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    Caritas launched appeal for Senegal as part of West Africa food crisis response

Caritas launched appeal for Senegal as part of West Africa food crisis response

By |30 March 2012|

Caritas has launched an emergency appeal for Senegal, the latest in the confederation’s response to the food crisis unfolding across West Africa’s Sahel belt. Over 12 million people are at risk of food shortages across the region, with Caritas humanitarian programmes launched in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Caritas Senegal is appealing for €950,000 to reinforce food safety net measures and run feeding programmes for rural communities. More than 125,000 people will benefit from the Caritas Senegal programme, which includes the distribution of food, supplemental feeding for new mothers and children from Church dispensaries. Caritas Senegal President Fr Ambroise Tine said, “The situation is grave. “We are still waiting for the government to respond to the needs of those people threatened by the food crisis. The upcoming second round of presidential elections is delaying the necessary action. “We will see the crisis get worse in the months to come, unless steps are taken. We [...]
  • The 2011 harvest was disastrous for Mintou and her family in Dosso region, Niger. Her four sons have left the village to find work, so they can send money home. But, with seven months until the next harvest, Mintou has run out of food to feed her five grandchildren.

Credits: Nick Harrop/CAFOD
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    Caritas launches appeal to help 400,000 people as food crisis hits Niger

Caritas launches appeal to help 400,000 people as food crisis hits Niger

By |23 March 2012|

A third of the population of Niger is threatened by hunger as the food crisis in West Africa’s Sahel region grows. Caritas is launching its third appeal for the region, following similar interventions in Mali and Burkina Faso. Caritas is concerned because the population have not recovered from acute food shortages in 2010, leaving them even more vulnerable this time. “Niger and the Sahel face an alarming food emergency that is getting worse day-by-day,” said Raymond Yoro, the executive secretary of CADEV-Caritas Niger. “The people are still suffering from the 2010 crisis. They do not have the resources to face yet another bad harvest. We need immediate assistance if we are to survive the months ahead,” he said. Families in Niger are already turning to survival strategies such as rationing food still available. At least 16 million people in Niger are threatened with food shortages. Half of the populations of urban centres cannot get enough [...]
  • 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 [...]

January 26, 2012

  • 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 [...]

December 21, 2011

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 [...]

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