A national fundraising appeal for aid to East Timor is being launched in Darwin today by the national Catholic aid organisation Caritas.
    The launch has also been organised by the Northern Territory Government, the Anglican Church, the Combined Council of Churches and Darwin's Timorese community. The groups decided CARITAS was the best channel for aid.
    Caritas Director Tom Storey said that Darwin was chosen because of the high level of community interest in East Timor.
    "Darwin wanted it that way as well," Mr Storey said. "There is a unique coalition coming together in Darwin, community and business interests and churches. "With all that in mind, we thought it was the right place to do it."
    Mr Storey says CARITAS is committed to staying in the troubled province, despite the risks.
    "We have staff members on the death lists and these people have had to hide out at night. We have had occasions where aid delivery has been interrupted, people have been assaulted. These problems, they will continue, but we must not let those deter us. It has been made more difficult, but we are still there and we will stay there," he said.

12:08pm 19/5/99 / ABC


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