- Sierra Leone: Mudslides - Aug 2017
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2015
- West Africa: Ebola Outbreak - Mar 2014
- Sierra Leone: Wild Fires - Jan 2013
- Sierra Leone/Guinea: Cholera Outbreak - Feb 2012
- West/Central Africa: Floods - Jun 2010
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods and Landslides - Aug 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2007
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2007
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“As the convoy of corpses moved along the streets of Freetown, the entire city was in tears.”
In the aftermath of severe flash flooding and mudslides that struck the capital of Sierra Leone on 14 August, the director of Caritas Sierra Leone, Edward John Bull, has sent out a plea for prayers and for material assistance. Nearly 500 people died in the twin disaster, including more than a hundred children, and another 600 are missing presumed dead. It is estimated that 20,000 people have been displaced, a quarter of whom are children.
“When there is a crisis, the international aid community tends to push away or sideline religious leaders and faith based organisations even though they have the key to solving the crisis,” said Fr. Peter Konteh from Caritas Freetown in Sierra Leone.
“Instead, the first port of call should be the religious leaders and faith based organisations who live and work on the ground. They need to be actively included in planning,” he said.
On the eve of Sierra Leone being declared ebola-free, Caritas says the impact of the epidemic is likely to linger long into the future in the West African country.
Over 3,500 people died in Sierra Leone after the highly-contagious virus spread through the country and neighbouring Liberia and Guinea in 2014. Over 11,300 people died from the disease in the three countries in the period between March 2014 and November 2015.
A country must have no new infections for 42 days to be declared ebola-free. Sierra Leone is expected to reach this milestone on 7th November.
By Caritas Internationalis
By Irma Sofia Espinosa Peraldi, Caritas Athens
The situation in Greece is getting worse by the day. New migrants know about the economic crisis here, but still they decide to come to Greece as it is their entry point to Europe. The arrival of migrants in the Greek islands is 500 percent more than last year.
By Molly Judd | 16 June 2015 |
According to the World Health Organisation, as of June 2015, 27,173 cases of Ebola Virus Disease had been reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This includes over 11,149 deaths which has left 16,600 children in these three countries without one or both parents.
Par Son Éminence le cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, SDB, Président et Michel Roy, Secrétaire Général
« Nous avons mis en route la culture du “déchet” […] Les exclus ne sont pas des “exploités”, mais des déchets, “des restes”… personne ne devrait être “privé” de l’amour de Dieu ni de nos soins. »
By His Eminence Óscar Andrés Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, SDB, President of Caritas Internationalis and Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis
“We have created a ‘throw away’ culture…the excluded are not the ‘exploited’ but the outcast, the ‘leftovers’…no one is to be ‘excluded’ from God’s love and from our care.”
When the worst outbreak of Ebola in history struck West Africa, Caritas swung into action. Starting in spring 2014, Caritas teams fanned out over Guinea, taking motorcycles up rough roads to villages and telling people in rural areas how to prevent the spread of the disease.
Caritas Guinea distributed soap, bleach, buckets and other hygiene items to more than 100,000 people and worked with a telecoms company to send SMS messages about Ebola to more than a million people.
“There’s a little girl here about 9 or 10 years old. She asked for the phone. She said, ‘My dad and mom are in bed in hospital. I want to talk to them and see how they are doing.’” Father Peter Konteh, a Caritas priest in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone, is speaking about one of the children in an orphanage he runs. “We tried to explain the concept of death to her using stories and drama, but she could not perceive it.”
Caritas member Cordaid in the Netherlands is sending thousands of kilos of medical supplies and equipment to Ebola-hit West Africa.
Last week, a Dutch naval ship arrived in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, bearing items to help hospital and clinic staff combat the deadly virus.
The Cordaid materials include disposable overalls, gloves, masks, goggles, soap, water purification tablets, and “no-touch” forehead thermometers so health care staff can take people’s temperatures without contracting the disease. The items are being distributed at hospitals and clinics.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose someone significant, like a grandfather, a parent or a child, and not be able to celebrate them in the ways they deserve,” says Michael Stulman of Catholic Relief Services, a Caritas member from the USA. CRS works with national Caritas organisations in Ebola-affected countries as part of the Church response. Stulman recently visited Sierra Leone and Liberia, where thousands of people have seen loved ones die of Ebola.
La Fondation Mondiale du Cacao (WCF) a annoncé le versement d’une donation de $600.000 afin d’appuyer les soins et les efforts de prévention relatifs à l’Ebola éployés en Afrique Occidentale par Caritas et la FISCR..
By Laura Sheahen
When Augustine Tamba Fallah was considering whether to drive to Kenema, one of the hottest Ebola hot zones in Sierra Leone, his family members told him not to go. “They were afraid,” says the Caritas Freetown case worker. But Fallah decided to make the trip.
He wasn’t delivering an experimental serum or high-tech equipment to fight Ebola. He was simply delivering food.
Alors qu’Augustine Tamba envisageait de se rendre à Kenema, une des zones les plus à risque pour l’Ebola au Sierra Leone, les membres de sa famille lui ont dit de ne pas y aller. « Ils avaient peur », raconte ce volontaire de Caritas Freetown. Mais Augustine s’est quand même décidé à entreprendre le voyage.
Avec lui, il n’emportait ni sérum expérimental ni équipement de haute technologie pour combattre l’Ebola. Tout ce qu’il amenait, c’était de la nourriture.
When the Ebola outbreak started coming closer to an orphanage he runs in Sierra Leone, Fr. Peter Konteh knew it was time to get the most at-risk kids out.
“We’re going to see the beach,” the Caritas Freetown priest told the children.
He had set up the orphanage after the country’s civil war left many children parentless. Now they were under threat again. “I didn’t want to create panic. Some of these kids have already been traumatized by the war.”
Vatican City - Caritas Internationalis has launched a new appeal to help member organisation Caritas Guinea provide emergency assistance to families displaced by armed conflict.
Malgré l'accord de principe donné par les autorités guinéennes à Ruud Lubbers, haut commissaire de l'ONU pour les réfugiés, lors de son séjour le 14 février dernier, aucun corridor humanitaire sécurisé n'est aujourd'hui effectif. Seuls les prêtres, restés dans leur paroisse, secourent avec peu de moyens les populations réfugiées et déplacées prises en tenailles au sud-est du pays entre les incursions rebelles et les répliques de l'armée guinéenne.
La crise des réfugiés en Guinée est "la plus grave à laquelle le HCR a à faire face actuellement", a jugé le Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés de l'ONU. Aujourd'hui, la Guinée accueille près de 300 000 réfugiés sierra-léonais et 122 000 libériens.
Un logisticien du Secours Catholique part aujourd'hui, à la demande de Caritas Guinée, dans le camp de transit de Conacry. Avant son départ, nous avons joint le père Philippe Engel, membre de Caritas Guinée - Organisation Catholique pour la Promotion Humaine.