Caritas Australia commits $1m to Pakistan emergency response
Caritas Australia is putting $1 million towards the emergency response in Pakistan following the devastating earthquake that struck the central Asia region early last month.
Of the $1 million, $800,000 has come from Australian public donations, and a further $200,000 has been contributed by the Australian Government through AusAID.
"We would like to thank the Australian public for their generosity towards those people affected by this tragedy. The commitment of $1 million reflects the Australian public's compassion at a time of desperate need," said Jack de Groot, Chief Executive Officer of Caritas Australia.
By working through partner agency Caritas Pakistan, funds provided by Caritas Australia will be used to support and assist 5000 rural households in eight villages - four in Kashmir around the town of Muzaffarabad and four in the North-West Frontier province around the town of Balakot. In addition, support will also be provided to 500 families staying in temporary accommodation, having arrived in urban centres to seek medical attention for injuries.
"With winter closing in, there are time constraints on getting assistance to the affected communities before weather conditions worsen. Immediate shelter in the form of winterised tents will be provided to the affected families, along with blankets and other sleeping items," said Mr de Groot.
As most household items have been lost or destroyed, Caritas Pakistan will also distribute stoves, cooking utensils as well as essential household items and hygiene articles. Food distribution is being is coordinated in collaboration with the World Food Program.
"The need is still great. With the loss of at least 55,000 lives already and the worsening weather conditions, women and children already vulnerable are facing greater risk. Immediate aid will attempt to reduce that vulnerability.
"The wide scale devastation of communities in the region means our three year commitment is an essential component of the wider response to those in need," said Mr de Groot.
Caritas Australia has also committed $50,000 towards the relief work of local partner agency Caritas India in the earthquake affected areas of Northern India.
Caritas Australia is still accepting donations for the Central Asia Earthquake Appeal, and will be continuing to support the response as it evolves. Donations can be made by phoning 1800 024 413, on on-line at www.caritas.org.au.
Caritas Australia commits $1million to emergency response in Pakistan (Caritas Australia 2/11/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas launches South Asia Earthquake Appeal (CathNews 11/10/05)
Caritas point man on AIDS links fighting disease to peace, justice (Catholic News Service 1/11/05)
Catholic charity won't stop Ugandan aid programs despite staff murder
Caritas India Helps Tsunami Victims Befriend Sea Again (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 2/11/05)
CAFOD partners in race against time in Pakistan (Independent Catholic News 1/11/05)
Greater generosity for Pakistan earthquake victims (Vatican Information Service 30/10/05)
Benedict XVI repeats call for aid to Kashmir quake victims (Catholic World News 31/10/05)
Pope Calls for More Aid for Quake Victims (Zenit 30/10/05)
Shelter for quake victims 'inadequate' (The Tablet 29/10/05)
In Pakistan, Church Is Sheltering Quake Refugees (Zenit 27/10/05)
3 Nov 2005