Caritas Went Beyond "Front-Page Catastrophes"

Allocated Over $81 Million in Aid in 1999

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 23, 2001 ( Caritas International in 1999 allocated a total of $81.8 million to assist victims in 64 emergency situations around the world.

Caritas Secretary-General Duncan MacLaren, who wrote the confederation´s annual report «Emergency and Hope 1999,» said the emergency situations only show «a small part of the total work» carried out by Caritas´ 154 member organizations.

«Many other emergency, rehabilitation and development programs are undertaken through bilateral agreements between the different Caritas,» he wrote.

MacLaren said that «not only did the front-page catastrophes receive the solidarity of the members of Caritas Internationalis, but also emergencies that were regarded as insignificant and not given publicity by the media.»

He said that he hopes to create a Solidarity Team, which will work long-term in rehabilitation, reconstruction and transformation of the regions which have suffered a catastrophe.

Caritas´ work in 1999 included assistance to victims of civil war and famine in Sudan; victims of conflict in East Timor, Burma and Colombia; earthquake victims in India and Turkey; famine victims in North Korea; hurricane victims in Central America; and refugees from Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia.

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