Caritas-Iraq Undertakes Housing Reconstruction Project

Aid to the Church in Need Sends Delegation to Baghdad

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BAGHDAD, Iraq, JUNE 5, 2003 ( Caritas-Iraq is undertaking a program of postwar housing reconstruction while continuing its distribution of humanitarian aid.

Last weekend Caritas-Baghdad received a convoy with 15 tons of humanitarian aid, on top of the food and health products that arrived at the capital’s airport May 23, the Catholic Church’s aid organization reported.

The humanitarian aid is being distributed by local Caritas teams, to parishes and relief centers helping the most vulnerable groups of the population.

The local Caritas is planning to transform its current network of child centers into centers of health care for an initial six-month period.

Talks are under way with local health authorities so that medical personnel in Caritas’ child centers will be able to care for the civilian population in general and supply much-needed medicines.

In recent days, Caritas-Iraq has donated health material to several Baghdad pediatric hospitals, in addition to supplementary food products and bed linen.

In Sulaimaniya, in the north, Caritas-Iraq is working to begin a project for the reconstruction of 140 homes and a health center.

In this region, in cooperation with the Iraqi Health Ministry, Caritas has distributed medicines to several hospitals, as well as fuel for domestic use. A mobile clinic provided by Caritas-Holland offers medical care to people of rural settlements.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is in Baghdad to seek new ways and means to improve the situation of Christians in Iraq.

The organization’s delegation, which landed here Monday, plans to meets with Archbishop Fernando Filoni, apostolic nuncio in Iraq, and with leaders of local ecclesial communities.

Helmut Steindhl, director of the Projects Department, and Marie-Ange Siebrecht, head of the Middle East Section, during their nine-day visit will express ACN’s solidarity with the Iraqi people, especially Catholic communities.

Since the start of the war in Iraq, ACN has sent over $56,000 in emergency aid for refugees. ACN has launched a fund-raising campaign in all its national offices and, to date, has collected 101,299 euros ($118,288) to help postwar Iraq.

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