Caritas commits aid to New Zealand quake victims

By agency reporter
24 Feb 2011

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has pledged NZ$25,000 towards relief and recovery following the latest devastating quake to hit Christchurch on 22 February 2011.

Secular and faith-based development NGOs have joined governments around the world in pledging assistance in the wake of the disaster.

"We are deeply saddened and shocked that this latest quake has caused such loss of life, injury and suffering," says Caritas Director Michael Smith. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected."

Caritas funds will support the St Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Social Services and other agencies in responding to immediate needs, as well as providing long-term recovery and assistance to those affected by this disaster.

Following the September 2010 quake, Caritas assisted the St Vincent de Paul Society to provide emergency supplies and Catholic Social Services to provide trauma counselling for children.

"The needs are undoubtedly greater this time," says Mr Smith, "and we pledge our support to the people of Christchurch and surrounding areas."

Caritas does not normally respond directly to emergencies within New Zealand says Mr Smith, but the scale of the disaster requires an exceptional response – and we will assist agencies facing the need on the ground.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis , a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

[Ekk/3]

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