Emergency Aid Sought for Caribbean, India and Sudan

Catholic Relief Services Scrambling to Help on 3 Fronts

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BALTIMORE, Maryland, OCT. 12, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Catholic Relief Services made an emergency appeal for funds as it struggles to respond to disasters in the Caribbean, India and the Darfur region of Sudan.

In a letter to U.S. bishops, CRS chairman Bishop Robert Lynch notes: «The last few months have seen catastrophic suffering for countless souls around the world. Despite efforts by international relief agencies to help alleviate the pain caused by so many natural and man-made disasters, the suffering continues. Catholic Relief Services has been stretched thin by this recent string of catastrophes, and they need our help.»

A strong series of storms has battered the Caribbean in recent months. Hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Grenada, Jamaica and the Bahamas have been left in need of food, clean water, shelter and other necessities.

In India, floods from the summer monsoon season have left millions in danger of water-borne diseases as they struggle to recover from the loss of their homes and crops.

In Darfur, Sudan, already 50,000 people are known dead and more than 1.4 million Sudanese remain uprooted across remote and isolated terrain, subject to harsh rains, lack of food and water, and continued attacks by the government-backed Janjaweed militia. More than 200,000 Sudanese have crossed the Chadian border, where they have overextended the capacity and resources of refugee camps and host communities.

The threat of malaria, malnutrition and cholera could lead to thousands of more deaths in the coming months.

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