Last night’s federal budget rejected the recent, strong recommendation from fellow OECD governments for Australia to reverse the dramatic reduction in our contribution to international aid and development over the last four years. As the 13th largest economy in the world, Australia has slid to the bottom end of OECD countries in this area.
Caritas Australia with its partners on the ground is responding to the impact of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake which has killed 150 people and has left, according to the UN, 270,000 people including 125,000 children, in need of emergency aid.
Caritas is providing urgent shelter and health support, especially in the form of clean water, sanitation and hygiene support (WASH) as well as trauma counselling.
With the crisis in Syria entering into its eighth year this week, Caritas Australia continues to support children who have been displaced by the war in Syria, which is now the largest displacement crisis in the world since World War II.
Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency, is bringing hope to Syrian refugee children through education.
12 year-old Bayan, one of the 5.6 million Syrian refugees who have sought sanctuary in the neighbouring countries in the region, is living with her family in Jordan.
The Caritas network is responding to the Tropical Cyclone Gita relief effort in Samoa and Tonga.
The cyclone passed through Samoa this past weekend, and made landfall in Tonga on Monday, 12 February. The cyclone, which was a Category four when it reached the Tongan islands of Tongatapu and Eua, affected thousands of people across the nations and has damaged homes and buildings. There are reports that approximately 70 percent of Tonga’s population has been affected.
Local Caritas staff, partners and volunteers, part of the Caritas international network, continue to respond with emergency assistance, following the devastating impact of Cyclone Tembin in the Philippines.
Cyclone Tembin 17, known locally as Typhoon Vinta, made landfall in Caraga municipality, around 254 km from Davao city, on December 24. It devastated communities in the southern Philippines, causing flash floods and landslides.