Caritas-Iraq Resuming Full Operation

8,500 Newborns Among Those Helped

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BAGHDAD, Iraq, JULY 14, 2003 ( The 14 centers of Caritas-Iraq are gradually returning to normal operation in the wake of the war.

The Well Baby Program has restarted its activities, helping 8,500 newborns and 5,000 pregnant women in 12 centers, Vatican Radio reported.

Caritas’ medical activities, carried out in cooperation with public health institutions and the Red Crescent, are now helping 6,000 people.

The Caritas network has delivered a cargo of medicines to the Children’s Hospital in Saddam City, and has been asked by the Ministry of Health to restructure seven medical centers in Baghdad to offer basic services.

Through 17 public and private centers, Caritas distributes food packets and other first-aid goods to families and needy individuals — a total of 2,300 people.

In Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, 700 Kurdish refugees, enduring abject poverty, lacking food, medical care, and schools for their children, have been given shelter in a sports stadium. Caritas has started literacy classes and, thanks to a team of doctors and nurses, guarantees medical visits and care for refugees in the stadium.

Caritas is also working in Biara, also in the north, where it is building homes. In seven cities of the Makhmoor area, it is concentrating on the distribution of potable water by truck.

The water-purification program, which is again in operation, provides potable water for 400,000 Iraqis. Caritas is planning to install three new water purifiers in as many communities in southern Iraq.

The Caritas network is also helping Iraqis outside the country. In Hassake and Damascus, Syria, offices have been opened which offer medical services, schooling and home visits to hundreds of Iraqi refugees.

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