Caritas network assists wounded civilians in Iraq
The Caritas Catholic aid and development agency network is working in Iraq and neighbouring countries to provide needed first aid to wounded civilians and refugees.
Caritas staff are now providing medical help to the many wounded civilians in Iraq through Caritas medical centres and through local schools, which have had to be set up to cope with the wounded.
"It has been reported that many civilian houses have been destroyed in the bombing and a Catholic Church has been damaged," said Jack de Groot, Caritas Australia's National Director.
"Caritas Australia as a member of the Caritas network has assisted Caritas Iraq to provide medical, food and shelter relief to wounded civilians during the conflict," Mr de Groot said.
Caritas is also providing assistance to the many refugees who have already fled Iraq.
In Syria Caritas is visiting some of the 2000 Iraqi refugees who have crossed the border into Syria. About 10,000 Iraqi refugees in northern Iraq wish to cross the border into Turkey.
300 Sudanese living in Iraq have moved to Jordan as refugees.
"The Caritas network is working under the assumption of attending to the needs of a population estimated to be between 200,000 and 500,000 of displaced persons, both within Iraq as well as in neighboring countries," Mr de Groot said.
The Caritas international network is working closely with the Caritas agencies in the Middle East - Caritas Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Caritas in Iran - to cope with the emergency situation.
Caritas Network Bracing to Help up to 500,000 in War (Caritas Australia)
Church leaders, groups plead for aid for civilians, peace in Iraq (Catholic News Service)
Caritas-Iraq Is Fully Operational (Zenit)
Aid agencies report of mass exodus (ABC)
Charity helps war-stricken Iraqi Christians (Aid to the Church in Need)
24 Mar 2003