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Caritas responds to need in Haiti and Afghanistan

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Caritas is responding through its global network to people in crisis in Haiti and Afghanistan.

"The turmoil in both Haiti and Afghanistan requires a global response as these crises unfold against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our global network of Caritas agencies enables us to reach out and help in most places around the world. Caritas is there working with displaced people and vulnerable communities in great need," said Caritas Director Julianne Hickey.

A large earthquake in Haiti on 14 August has killed more than 700 people and injured more than 2,800. The toll is expected to climb with many people missing and more than a thousand buildings razed to the ground, including churches, schools and hospitals.

Caritas Haiti has mobilised teams to reach areas most affected by the quake in the south-west of the Caribbean nation, and is assessing the damage and needs of people in different parts of the country.

"The entire Caritas Haiti network, especially the emergency team, is participating in coordination and aid operations in the three affected departments," said Caritas Haiti director Father Jean-Hervé François, speaking from the affected area. While reaching some locations is difficult, the needs of the population are immense. "There is an absolute demand for food, water, tents, hygiene kits and first aid", said Father François.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are displaced and in need of support in Afghanistan in the midst of a rapidly changing and volatile conflict.

In Afghanistan, Caritas works through Catholic Relief Services (CRS, a US-based Caritas member). CRS has been working in Afghanistan since 1998 on agriculture, education and disaster response. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand worked with CRS for many years on rural development in Bamyan province in Afghanistan, promoting soil and water conservation to improve farming, and savings groups to provide food and earn income from crops, sewing and handicrafts.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has already pledged $10,000 to each country, and is receiving donations to its general Emergency Fund which can be tagged for Haiti or Afghanistan. Caritas will send the funds to its partners on the ground. Donations can be made through the Caritas website www.caritas.org.nz or by calling 0800 22 10 22.

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For more information, please contact Engagement Manager, Roger Ellis
at 04 496 1339; 021 526 264 or email to rogere@caritas.org.nz.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the New Zealand Catholic Bishops' agency for justice, peace and development, and incorporates Catholic Volunteers Overseas. We are working for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.