Development and Peace joins forces with the Canadian International Development Agency to aid 'invisible' Afghan refugees

Report
from Development and Peace
Published on 28 Nov 2001
TORONTO / November 28, 2001 - The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has given $185,000 to the Canadian Catholic Organization for DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (CCODP) to help Afghan refugees who do not enjoy "official refugee status" according to norms determined by the United Nations.
These "invisible" refugees live in 200 makeshift encampments - mostly in Pakistan. For the most part they are either elderly, pregnant, nursing mothers or handicapped. Because they are not sufficiently mobile, these people have not been able to register at official refugee camps established by the United Nation's High Commission for Refugees. Their living conditions are appalling.

The CIDA grant will help about 11,000 people through a program developed by Caritas Pakistan, one of CCODP's partner agencies in the region, in association with the Diocese of Rawalpindi and other NGOs. DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE is a member of Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic Church's international aid organization, which has representatives in more than 150 countries.

The $185,000 will be used to distribute 2,300 emergency kits containing mattresses, blankets, dishes, utensils, a camp stove, water cans and small personal items such as soap and combs. With the onset of winter, living conditions are becoming more difficult with each passing day. The kits will help to make life a little more bearable.

Despite international efforts to aid Afghan refugees, needs continue to outstrip resources. With little food and supplies, these "invisible refugees" have been left, until now, to fend for themselves.

In addition to the $185,000 CIDA grant, Canadians have so far donated $760,000 to DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE to support 20 projects helping Afghan refugees living along the border with in Pakistan, as well as displaced Afghans inside their own country.

Donations can be sent c/o

DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE - AFGHANISTAN
5633 Sherbrooke Street East
Montréal, Québec H1N 1A3
1-888-664-3387 or www.devp.org

For additional information:

TORONTO: Jack Panozzo (416) 922-1592 jpanozzo@devp.org
MONTREAL: François Gloutnay (514) 257-8711 fgloutnay@devp.org