Saturday, April 25, 2015
Caritas Support Needed in Nepal
Caritas Nepal was founded in 1990 by the Catholic Church to respond to the devastating floods and other natural disasters that occurred.
Beginning as a 3 member team the agency has grown and expanded their range of services and today operates in 50 of the 75 districts in Nepal. As the social arm of Catholic Church in Nepal, Caritas Nepal aims to apply animation and sector specific participatory approaches to empower the poor, women, marginalised, and disadvantaged people to reduce poverty, secure humanitarian assistance to refugees and in times of emergency and conflict, and realise social justice and peace. Read more here
Caritas Nepal staff are rushing to respond to a strong earthquake. The quake measured 7.9. The epicentre was between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara. Extensive damage has been reported, with loss of life and injury.
Caritas Nepal director Fr. Pius Perumana S.J. is in Kathmandu. He said,”It was the worst earthquake I have ever experienced in my life. The after shocks are still strong. The indications so far are that this is a major emergency.”
He said that there has been lots of physical damage, electricity has been down making communications difficult and roads are blocked. “Lots of houses have fallen down and there are lots with cracks. Thank God it was during the day and on a holiday as many people were outside when the quake happened.”
Assessments are coming in and Caritas teams in country are organising the response. “Rescue is the first priority. Lots of people have lost their homes and are out on the street or in open spaces, so we will be looking to provide them with food and temporary shelter.”
The airport is currently closed so Caritas members are looking to send aid overland from India.