Caritas-Iraq Asking Help for 260,000 War Refugees

Priority Attention Will Be Given to Children and Mothers

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BAGHDAD, Iraq, APRIL 1, 2003 ( Caritas-Iraq made an urgent appeal for financial help from other Caritas groups worldwide in order to help 260,000 people affected by the war.

It appealed to 153 Caritas groups to deliver help over the next three months.

About 43,000 families already have been affected by the war, some 10% of which need immediate help, Caritas said. All have been receiving Caritas-Iraq’s help, both from its own financial resources as well as funds donated by other Caritas groups.

Over the next three months, Caritas-Iraq plans to distribute basic foods and relief materials, and to help provide clean drinking water, sanitation services and health care.

Caritas-Iraq’s 254 workers and volunteers are working through its 14 centers in the country, as well as through 87 Christian churches that have been adapted to shelter civilians.

Caritas-Iraq teams include doctors, engineers specialized in logistics and water purification, nutritionists, social workers and clinic auxiliaries. Priority help is earmarked for children under 5, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Plans have also been made for a three-month program of supplementary and therapeutic food aid to combat malnutrition. It will benefit 2,400 children under 5, and 1,500 pregnant women and nursing mothers.

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