Caritas Prepares to Deploy Humanitarian Aid to Iraq

MADRID, Spain, FEB. 9, 2003 ( Caritas International, the Catholic Church-run worldwide assistance network, is preparing to address the consequences of a possible military attack on Iraq.

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«We are preparing to be massacred,» the Caritas-Iraq office said.

During a meeting with the media Feb. 7, Jose Sanchez Faba, Director of Caritas-Spain, explained that the different national Caritas offices (there are 154 worldwide) are preparing to give humanitarian assistance, in case the United States attacks Iraq.

Many have already begun to collect provisions, medicine, and clothes as a precaution. The office of Cartas-Iraq, located in Amman, Jordan, will coordinate Caritas’ humanitarian aid if hostilities do break out.

«We estimate that there will be around 500,000 displaced people if the war breaks out,» the directors of Caritas-Spain said, «and this only if it is, as the U.S. has announced, a rapid action. If the war is prolonged, the number would be much greater.»

«Caritas-Iraq has already appealed for help from different delegations of the association, [asking] them to send provisions, clothes, etc., as people would go to the churches for protection in case of war,» they said.

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