Tag Archives: Caritas Austria

Philippines survivors: Help! Water! Food!

Food, water, medical supplies and temporary shelter are in urgent need. Credit: Andreas Zinggl/Caritas Austria

Food, water, medical supplies and temporary shelter are in urgent need. Credit: Andreas Zinggl/Caritas Austria

People in the Philippines are in desperate need according to Caritas Austria staff in Cebu, one of the areas Typhoon Haiyan struck. The scale of the disaster has left everyone stunned.

Caritas aid has been getting through. Caritas Philippines has been able to reach survivors since Sunday working through its diocesan staff. Caritas Philippines is focusing its activities in Palo, Jaro, Capiz and Cebu.

Ten trucks with food will go to Ormoc in Leyte, nearly 50 relief packs with clothes and medicines were delivered to a local hospital in Cebu and a truck with relief supplies was sent to Bogo City in the destroyed north.

Heavy rain on Tuesday is making life worse for survivors and more difficult for relief operations. Families are sleeping in the elements and need the basics just to get by. Over 670,000 have been forced from their homes. Based on population figures where the typhoon made direct hits, an estimated 500,000 homes could be destroyed.

Emergency shelter remains a top priority. 32,000 tarpaulins have been bought by Caritas member CRS and the first tarps and water and sanitation supplies have arrived in the country.

In Tacloban City, streets are flooded and there are growing health concerns that the bodies, rubbish and sewage will lead to the spread of disease. Hygiene and sanitation are critical to maintain in order to prevent waterborne diseases that often occur in crowded, polluted conditions.

The number of people affected has risen to 11.3 million, but the government says that the death toll might not be as high as expected. President Benigno Aquino expects the death toll to be around 2000-2500 people.

Assessing the damage, reaching those affected, transporting supplies, and helping rebuild a country and its people so that they are better prepared when the next crisis comes are all part of the challenge Caritas organisations are facing going forward in the Philippines.

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Filed under Asia, Conflicts and Disasters, Emergencies, Emergencies in the Philippines, Philippines

Out of control Syrian crisis threatening region

Storm clouds gather over a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. Credit:  Andreas Zinggl/Caritas Austria

Storm clouds gather over a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. Credit: Andreas Zinggl/Caritas Austria

The humanitarian situation in Lebanon is desperate as over a million Syrian refugees seek safety in their tiny neighbour. “What we have been seeing is unbelievable, says President of Caritas Lebanon, Fr. Simon Faddoul. “The numbers are growing in an incredible way. The situation is getting worse. It’s becoming disastrous.”

Caritas Lebanon reports that there is a shortage of shelter to house the refugees, that diseases are spreading due to the unhygienic situation of the makeshift camps and that Lebanon’s delicate political balance is at risk.

Fr. Simon says, “To all those good hearted people, please listen to the suffering of the Syrian people inside Syria and in the neighbouring countries. Lebanon has four million inhabitants – we are hosting 1.2 million Syrian people. That means more than 25 percent of the population has become Syrian. From the humanitarian side, it is becoming uncontrollable.” Continue reading

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Filed under Austria, Conflicts and Disasters, Emergencies, Emergencies in Syria, Europe, Lebanon, Middle East & North Africa, Peacebuilding, Refugees, Syria

Let’s take the bread and share it

By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Policy and Advocacy Director

I start with a loaf of bread: Our daily bread. We need to share it and more importantly provide people the seeds, knowledge and resources to grow it in an often hostile environment. At Mass following the opening day of the Future without Hunger Congress in Vienna, we were reminded by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez that we should be bringing light to people. This light might be still small but if enough people share it, it will become bright. Continue reading

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Filed under Advocacy, Agriculture, Food