Second tsunami tests Caritas Australia's new IT systems

New information technology systems adopted by Caritas Australia in the wake of the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami are set to be tested as the aid agency appeals for donations in the wake of Monday's tsunami disaster in Indonesia.

According to media reports, at least 339 people were killed with more than 600 injured in the second tsunami disaster to hit Indonesia in as many years.

The tsunami struck the fishing and tourism centre of Pangandaran, not far from the recently earthquake-devastated ancient Javanese city of Yogyakarta, following a magnitude-7.7 earthquake.

Having just completed a major upgrade to its information technology systems after being overwhelmed by the generous Australian response to the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami, Caritas Australia is again appealing for donations to support its relief work in the affected areas.

According to a Caritas media statement, Caritas International and local Church agencies are active on the ground conducting a "needs assessment" in the devastated Java coastal areas.

It says logistical aid tents and medicines have been directed to the affected area and support are being given to the Sisters of ADM, who have established a kitchen to feed those in the area that have fled their homes.

"Local partner organisations of Caritas who have been active in the impacted area are best placed to assess and recommend the most appropriate form of assistance," the statement said.

"Caritas is waiting confirmation of how our resources can be best utilised in conjunction with local authorities and partners to ensure our resources can be used efficiently."

Caritas has recently upgraded its donations handling process. According The Age report, the next phase will be the redevelopment of Caritas' website which will include a feature for donors to track their donations.

Caritas says donations can be made by phoning 1800 024 413 or via its website (www.caritas.org.au).

Turning disaster into triumph (The Age, 17/7/06)
Caritas Australia (Media Release, 18/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas Australia

Total Catholic aid to Tsunami recovery effort now at $500m (CathNews, 21/2/05)
Lent at a time of tsunami (CathNews, 9/2/05)

19 Jul 2006