Catholic Charities Aids Oil Spill Victims

NEW ORLEANS, MAY 28, 2010 ( A month after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill damage hit the coast of Louisiana, Catholic Charities is working full time to aid fisherman and others affected by the disaster.

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The spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted from an April 20 well blowout on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling platform that killed 11 and injured 17 others.

The oil company BP has been fingered as being primarily responsible for what has become the largest spill in U.S. history, though the multinational corporation objects to this accusation.

On April 29, a state of emergency was declared in Louisiana as the oil slick hit the fishing waters near that region. On Monday, the U.S. government declared a fisheries disaster for the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. It is estimated that the fishing industry will lose some $2.5 billion due to the disaster.

Catholic Charities reported on Monday that it has several sites where it is providing emergency assistance for fishermen and their families.

As the oil spreads and more fishing waters are shut down, the aid agency is looking to expand its services.

The relief centers are providing food, case management, crisis counseling and other services through several of the local parishes.

Some 4645 people have received some sort of aid, including 647 emergency food boxes, 168 cans of baby formula, 76 diaper boxes and 174 smaller diaper packs.

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