Church in India Building Homes for Quake Victims

MADRID, Spain, MAR. 15, 2001 ( Caritas-India is preparing a plan for the construction of almost 3,000 homes in areas affected by the earthquake which devastated the state of Gujarat.

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During a press conference in Caritas-Spain´s headquarters here, Father Ivan Joseph, national director of Caritas-India, discussed his group´s medium- and long-term assistance program, which includes housing, health care, education and food self-sufficiency.

Father Joseph said that the Caritas endeavor is part of a plan to benefit 14,000 people, with the construction of 2,930 homes in the Bhuj district.

The cost of the plan is $8.22 million, of which $2.12 million will be contributed by the Indian government, an additional $500,000 by the local Caritas, and the remaining $5.59 million by the ensemble of Caritas organizations already involved.

The director of Caritas-India said that at least 100 cities in Gujarat have been virtually destroyed; four of them were totally leveled. He said authorities there have no control over construction materials or anti-earthquake safety precautions, and this magnified the quake´s damage.

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