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Catholic aid in front line helping Afghan refugees

Catholic aid organisations are working hard to provide some relief for tens of thousands of Afghan refugees pouring into Pakistan as the threat of war persists.

Caritas Pakistan, directed by Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad and the US Catholic Relief Service are in the front line.

The US aid organisation has opened a base in Peshawar, a northern town on the border with Afghanistan where refugee camps are being set up.

Caritas International has sent a team of seven experts to study the situation and provide aid as soon as possible. The team, led by Niall O'Keefe of Caritas Ireland Trocaire, includes Doctor Barbel Krumme expert in child and mother care.

Another Catholic organisation, International Catholic Migration Commission based in Geneva is working with the United National High Commission for Refugees for the rehabilitation of Afghan refugees.

Catholics, a little more than 1% of the population, or about one and half million, as well as Catholic agencies from other countries, have always helped the Afghan people first during the Russian war, then during the civil war and finally during the last three years of severe drought.