Caritas launches Chile quake appeal
16 March 2010
Caritas is appealing for US$8.8 million (6.5 million euro) to helps survivors of the earthquake which hit Chile on 27 February.
Volunteers gather Caritas food donations for a door to door food distribution in the Santa Clara township in Talcahuano. Talcahuano, Chile was devastated by the February 27th, 2010 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Funds raised will help provide food, hygiene and shelter to cover people’s basic needs. The emergency appeal will also focus on capacity building, helping people such as fisherman and farmers get back to work. It will also build the capacity of the local Caritas organisation at various levels to improve its ability to respond to the earthquake.
Caritas will also give psychological and spiritual support to people who have been traumatised by the the earthquake.
“It’s not just about giving out boxes of food,” says Bishop Manuel Camilo Vial, President of Caritas Chile. “We are also listening to people who need to talk about all they’ve been through and are still going through with the aftershocks.”
The emergency programme will last for nine months. It will focus on helping 542,000 people in the centre and south of Chile. This includes the area around Santiago and Concepción which is one of the worst affected places.
The 8.8 magnitude earthquake was one of the of the most powerful ever recorded. Hundreds of people were killed, it seriously damaged roads, hospitals and schools, it caused a tsunami and was felt in dozens of surrounding countries.
The office of the local Caritas in Concepción was destroyed. The national office of Caritas Chile was partly damaged but remains operational.
But the Chile earthquake caused less damage than the one in Haiti, six weeks earlier. Buildings in Chile were stronger as many were rebuilt following an earthquake in 1960 to stricter building codes. Also, Chile’s earthquake was offshore and deeper and affected less populous areas, whereas Haiti’s was very close to Port-au-Prince, a city of two million people.
Caritas Chile started delivering aid along with the local church immediately after the earthquake. It already had experience of operating in emergencies which included an earthquake, a volcano eruption and floods.
For more information, please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 69879721/+39 334 2344136 or email@example.com