Agency Aids Mongolian Flood Victims

Erect Tents for Shelter Against Oncoming Winter

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ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, AUG. 27, 2009 ( In the wake of heavy rains that flooded Mongolia and claimed at least 34 lives, Caritas is stepping in to help the survivors.

At the end of last month, the rains caused serious flooding in the city of Ulan Bator and in the province of Gobi-Altai, leaving some 20,000 people without homes and possessions.

Weeks later, these Mongolians are still exposed to extreme weather conditions, as well as polluted and contaminated water and deficient drainage.   

Caritas responded immediately in coordination with the government, distributing potable water and first aid materials. The organization, with a post in Ulan Bator, also provided people with refuge in more stable areas.   

In collaboration with the agency’s international network, the local division of Caritas is distributing 3,600 drums of drinking water and building 10 wells in the most affected areas.

As well, aid workers are building 168 «ger,» portable tents or dwellings used by Mongol nomads, for those families that have lost everything.  

The secretary general of Caritas in Mongolia, Father Pierrot Kasemuana, said, «With the winter approaching, Caritas has indeed made a choice to express its solidarity to the weakest among the weak,» a press release from the agency reported.

He continued, «These tents have to be urgently distributed and installed before the end of November when the weather will change from summer to winter and by then, the temperature can go down as far as 40-45 degrees below zero.»  

Caritas in Spain is sending €25,000 [$35,600] to the affected area to help palliate the consequences of the heavy rains.

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