Posts Tagged ‘Emergency Response’

Congo Crisis: CRS to Respond with Food and Emergency Items

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the people of Goma, Democratic Repbulic of Congo. We pray for an end to the violence and for a clear path to peace even as we strive to serve those in greatest need during the current crisis.

Committing a minimum of $250,000 in private funding, CRS is preparing to distribute emergency food and other essential items to thousands of people in Goma, a major city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where an intensified rebel movement has caused massive displacement and a worsening humanitarian crisis.

We invite you to go here to help with our response to emergencies like this.

UN agencies estimate that as many as 140,000 people have fled their homes and existing camps in the area as a result of fighting between the rebel group known as M23 and the Congolese army. While relative calm has now returned to Goma, the situation remains fragile as rebels continue to expand their presence in the area. Tens of thousands of people in Goma and its surroundings are without access to electricity and remain in critical need of food, water and safe shelter.
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Prayers for the People of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Goma, Democratic Repbulic of Congo. We pray for an end to the violence and for a clear path to peace.

Catholic Relief Services is deeply concerned about the ongoing violence and unfolding humanitarian situation in and around the city of Goma in eastern DRC, where CRS operates a sub-office. In response to the situation, CRS has relocated all international staff and is monitoring the safety of 50 national staff that remain in Goma.

We invite you to go here to help with our response to emergencies like this.

Fighting had been escalating over the last several days between government troops and the rebel group known as M23 as they advanced towards Goma, the provincial capital of more than one million people. Rebel fighters seized the town on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Tens of thousands of Congolese have fled their homes and camps in and around Goma, creating a growing humanitarian emergency. CRS plans to respond to the needs of those displaced by the conflict as soon as the security situation allows.

Meanwhile, CRS’ long-time partner, Caritas Goma, had to suspend its operations in the relief camps around the city and staff are ‘listening to the radio for updates’. “We must wait to see if the M23 rebels make an official statement saying we can begin our work again in a more secure situation,” says Taylor Kakala, Caritas Goma’s Communication officer.

Read the full update from Caritas’ office in Goma
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Prayers for Guatemala Earthquake Survivors

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Guatemala following an earthquake that has claimed the lives of at least two people. We invite you to join us in prayer for our sisters and brothers affected by the quake.

The strong earthquake struck off the south coast of Guatemala this morning, causing damage in western departments and shaking buildings in the capital, Guatemala City. There are preliminary reports of infrastructure damage, several collapsed homes, downed power lines and at least two deaths. The quake was also felt in neighboring Mexico and Nicaragua. Catholic Relief Services will respond with emergency aid if called upon by the local church and civil authorities. We are monitoring the situation and have emergency response staff on stand-by in the region. CRS has been operating in Guatemala since 1963 and has strong experience and expertise in emergency response operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

We invite you to go here to help with emergencies like this. As always, thanks for your support. It encourages us and the people we serve in your name.

San Marcos, the mainly indigenous mountain area some 80 miles from the epicenter, was the hardest hit, with some 700 homes damaged. While most roads are reported open, the earthquake trigged landslides on one major highway. As many as 10,000 houses may be uninhabitable, according to news reports. Officials said yesterday’s earthquake was the worst to strike Guatemala since 1976, when a 7.5-magnitude quake killed about 25,000 people. Yesterday’s quake was also felt in neighboring Mexico and Nicaragua.

“CRS and partner staff are all reported safe. However, some staff living in San Marcos have had damages to their homes,” said Anne Bousquet, CRS Country Representative in Guatemala. “The worry is about possible aftershocks.”

CRS will help the Guatemalan national network for disaster response (CONRED) assess the damage in the coming days by offering staff and vehicle support. CONRED has 16,000 cold rations ready to help those in need and the government has deployed 2,000 military personnel to help. CRS is also ready to respond through the local church and has emergency response staff on stand-by in the region.

CRS has been operating in Guatemala since 1963 and has strong experience and expertise in emergency response operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

CRS Continues to Respond to Hurricane Sandy in Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Catholic Relief Services and our partners in the Caribbean continue to help people deal with the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy before it set its sights on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States earlier this week.

You are invited to go here to help with aid to the Caribbean.

In the U.S., our sister organization, Catholic Charities, responds to needs here at home. If you wish to assist in that mission, please visit them here.

As always, thank you for your prayers. You encourage us and those we serve in your name overseas.

HAITI

Hurricane Sandy caused severe damage to households and infrastructure throughout Haiti, particularly in the southern peninsula. A result of major flooding, initial assessments estimate crop losses of up to 70 percent throughout the southern peninsula, leaving the area at high risk for food shortages. Government officials estimate more than 7,000 hectares of cropland were destroyed and some 15,000 animals killed in just six communes along the south coast.
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Prayers For All in the Path of Hurricane Sandy

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a ferocious storm that ravaged both the Carribean and the eastern seaboard of the United States, we invite you to join us in hopeful prayer for a rapid recovery both here and abroad.

This deadly storm reminds us that we are indeed one human family, as we together suffered loss of life and property. We are all subject to disaster and we are all united in the knowledge and faith that God is at work in all of our lives, through times of cataclysm and joy.

Our hearts go out to all those in the path of Hurricane Sandy. We lift them up in prayer and ask our heavenly Father to use this time to teach us, nurture us, and grant us wisdom and compassion to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters, and to heal our own hurts as we pick up and continue in his word.

CRS is responding to needs in the Caribbean with relief supplies while staff assesses damage and recommends the most effective way forward. You are invited to go here to help with aid to the Caribbean.

In the U.S., our sister organization, Catholic Charities, responds to needs here at home. If you wish to assist in that mission, please visit them here.

As always, thank you for your prayers. You encourage us and those we serve in your name overseas.

CRS World Report: CRS Brings Expertise and Compassion to Emergency Response

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

When a tsunami washed away a remote coastal village in Indonesia, the first help to arrive was an emergency team from CRS. With no roads or airports, the dedicated team hiked through the jungle to bring aid to the survivors.

It only takes a few minutes for a disaster to destroy people’s lives. That’s why CRS spends years preparing for the moment when disaster strikes.

Listen to the World Report here.

Somalia Refugees: Hygiene Trainer Measures Up

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

In a refugee camp in northern Kenya, someone is teaching people how to wash their hands properly. The demonstrator lathers the soap, pours water, and rubs her hands together in a circular motion. She works slowly and systematically, making sure her nails are clean too. A crowd of children gathers, watching. Their “teacher” is three years old.

Read the rest of the story here.

Emergency Response Is Gospel Love

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Dear Friend,

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta called it the “Gospel in Our Five Fingers,” using one hand to count off the words in Matthew (25:40): “You-did-it-for-me.” That explains why she dedicated herself to serving the poor.

Preceding those words in Matthew, Christ explains that those who will be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven are the ones who saw him hungry and fed him, who saw him thirsty and gave him drink, who welcomed him when he was a stranger, clothed him when he was naked, cared for him when he was ill and visited him when he was imprisoned.

And when those awaiting judgment say that they never saw him in these circumstances, Christ replies, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
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Somalia: Meditation in Mogadishu

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Mogadishu child

A makeshift camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, as become a temporary home to countless displaced persons in Somalia. Photo by Neal Deles/CRS

By Neal Deles

CRS closed its office in Somalia in 1993 but continued to work there through our partners. It has been years since CRS sent an international staff back. I went to Mogadishu to meet our partners and see first-hand the work they do in the makeshift camps for those displaced by famine and conflict.

International aid workers here are mindful of heightened security concerns. We can only visit the camps for one hour and refrain from being out in the afternoon as that is when most of the violence happens. It was a long day visiting one of the many camps in Mogadishu and meeting partners and the people we serve.
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Sahel Food Crisis: A Refugee’s Story

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

By Helen Blakesley

Refugee camp

Fadimata Walet Haiballa (in blue) is a refugee living in the camp in Fererio, northern Burkina Faso. Her husband was killed in the violence in northern Mali, so she fled with her 3 children. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

Fadimata Walet Haiballa is a 49-year-old Tuareg woman from Gao in Mali. She’s been living in Fererio temporary refugee camp, Burkina Faso for nearly 6 months now. Her husband was killed in the violence in the North of their home country. She fled with her three children, her 82 year-old father and other family members, traveling for two days to reach neighboring Burkina Faso. She’s the women’s representative on the camp committee.

The militia rebels spread terror in our region. They would harass us, knock things from our hands … and worse. There were bombings, executions. I lost my husband in one of the bombings. We had to leave. We were terrified.

I left all I had behind. Life has changed completely. Back in Mali, before the troubles, we were in our big, beautiful house. We lived in good conditions. We didn’t know fear, we didn’t have this hot sun beating down on us. I had the father of my children with me. Now we’re here in the dust, with the sun. We’re thirsty, we’re surviving on mediocre food. So a lot has changed. Above all, my work, my job, with which I could feed and clothe my children, that’s all gone.
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