Caritas Pledges $10,000 for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief

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Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has pledged NZ$10,000 towards Caritas relief efforts in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that has caused widespread destruction and claimed thousands of lives.

Caritas Director Mike Smith says the pledge is one of solidarity with Japan as it faces its worst crisis since World War Two. 'It also recognises the closer ties and empathy felt between Japan and New Zealand in the wake of recent deadly earthquakes that have afflicted both countries.'

'After the 22 February Christchurch earthquake, Caritas Japan expressed its sorrow and prayers for us, and were sending donations received from its supporters. Now, following the tsunami , Caritas Japan has launched its own national appeal,' says Mr Smith, 'and prayer and financial support is coming in from around the world.'

Caritas Japan is in contact with one of the worst affected areas – the diocese of Sendai – providing relief with a focus on those with no access to public services. Caritas Japan will work closely with affected dioceses and other organisations to support the most vulnerable people affected by the disaster. It will also support rehabilitation and recovery needs as they emerge over the next 3-5 years.

Mr Smith said the public can specify donations for Japan, or support Caritas' current Lent Appeal. 'This allows us to respond swiftly to emergencies, and support long-term development and justice work to counter poverty and build stronger, more resilient communities around the world.'

Donations to Caritas can be made by: Phoning 0800 22 10 22 to make credit card donations; or Donating online using a credit card here; or Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144, New Zealand.

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.

For more information contact Martin de Jong +64-4-496 1782 or +64-21-909 688.