Caritas Program Aiding 20,000 Iraqi Moms and Children

ROME, JULY 12, 2005 ( Caritas-Iraq continues to give highest priority to its infant nutrition program, aimed at malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

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The aid reaches some 20,000 beneficiaries at risk, both Muslim and Christian, in Baghdad, Basra, Nassiriya, Umarah, Dialah and Saladin, according to the Catholic agency.

Caritas’ nutrition program, which has been carried out for years in Iraq, benefits children under 8, women in their sixth month of pregnancy and beyond, and nursing mothers with babies under 6 months of age.

In addition to food aid, the beneficiaries are entitled to care in Caritas-Iraq’s health centers, as well as free medical treatment.

Like other voluntary groups in the country, Caritas-Iraq works amid precarious security conditions. On Sunday an explosion occurred only 100 meters from a Caritas office in Baghdad, reported Sami Yousif Toma, president of Caritas-Iraq.

«Fortunately, there were no personal injuries,» he added. «But all our staff is understandably very worried by what happened as no one can predict what will happen the next time.»

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