Caritas brings humanitarian aid to Yolanda victims

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A typhoon survivor looks at the devastation around him in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda. (Photo: Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

MANILA, Nov. 15, 2013—Members of the Caritas Internationalis and other Catholic relief institutions around the globe will join forces for one coordinated and effective rescue, relief and restore operation to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. 

Caritas Asia and Africa have expressed their deepest condolences and solidarity on Wednesday in the aftermath of the disaster caused by the super-typhoon (Haiyan) Yolanda in the country. 

“On behalf of the Caritas confederation in Asia, Caritas Asia brings you our message of love and hope, as well as, our prayers and our commitment to lend a helping hand in rebuilding the shattered lives of the typhoon victims,” said by Most Rev. Isao Yama Kikuchi, Regional President of Caritas Asia in a letter to the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA-Caritas Philippines). 

The letter cited that the Caritas Asia, which is composed of 23 Caritas member organizations, will be joining the other members of the confederation across the globe in sharing their resources and best efforts to bring humanitarian aid to the communities that have suffered the brunt of the typhoon. 

“Our Caritas family will work side by side with NASSA-Caritas Philippines in delivering timely and appropriate aid to the victims. In close coordination with the affected communities, we will do what best we can to help in alleviating the suffering of the afflicted families; rebuild their lives; and bring back the bright future that awaits them,” Kikuchi added. 

Jacques Dinan, Executive Secretary of Caritas Africa also conveyed their sympathy in the aftermath of the disaster. 

“On behalf of the President of Caritas Africa, Bishop Francisco João Silota, members of the Caritas Africa Regional Commission, Caritas members in Africa and on my own behalf, I am conveying to you our deepest condolences. We express to you our solidarity and pray for the more than 10,000 victims who lost their lives and the more than 660,000 people who have been left homeless,” said Dinan. 

He added that they are trying to mobilize their members in order to participate in the efforts of reconstruction and rehabilitation after Yolanda. 

Meanwhile, Caritas members, Catholic Relief Services and Caritas England and Wales, known as Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), sent food to typhoon survivors in the Visayas through CBCP-NASSA and Caritas Philippines. On Nov. 10, the team reached Leyte by boat to assess the most urgent needs. 

“Our prayers are with the people of Philippines. They are a people who have suffered many natural disasters in the past, always with great resilience and faith. They can be assured of the support of Caritas around the world,” said Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga. 

Support from the Caritas France and Australia are also underway. 

“We really need all the help we can get. This is a catastrophe. We appreciate all the messages of solidarity from Caritas organisations and their supporters around the world,” said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of NASSA. (Yen Ocampo)

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