Catholic Groups Aiding 50,000 Families in India

NEW DELHI, India, FEB. 14, 2001 ( Caritas-India and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) are helping 50,000 families affected by the Jan. 26 earthquake which struck the state of Gujarat, causing 60,000 deaths and leaving 1 million homeless.

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Caritas´ 700 volunteers, including priests, religious, social workers, doctors and nurses, have worked in 170 population centers. St. Joseph Hospital, supported with funds from Caritas´ international network, acts as a referral center, and carries out emergency surgery.

Caritas-India and CRS, through the diocesan Caritas of Raijkot, have distributed 100,000 blankets, 50,000 sheets of plastic fabric for the construction of shelters, and 50,000 units of essential household goods, as well as rations of dried foods for 30 days.

Twenty-five of Caritas´ 154 national organizations have contributed $2.32 million of the $2.6 million requested by Caritas-India for relief aid in the first phase of the emergency.

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