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CRS Back at Work Amid Urgent Need in Central African Republic

July 5, 2013 by

Catholic Relief Services is back at work in the Central African Republic, assisting its local Caritas partner with an emergency response despite ongoing security concerns. CRS operations came to a halt when the country was seized by rebels in a violent coup in March. CRS staff have now returned to their jobs and are supporting local partners in addressing the most urgent needs of those affected by the conflict.

“There are thousands upon thousands who have been displaced or otherwise affected by the violence, and they need food, security and medical care urgently,” said Renee Lambert, CRS’ country manager in CAR.

“They don’t have food. Every evening for the past week there’s been a ‘concert of saucepans’ in Bangui. People are out on the streets banging their pots because they are so hungry.” -Archbishop Nzapalainga of Bangui

The strict curfews in place for the humanitarian community and the continuing insecurity make life and work difficult but “the need is great and our staff determined to do what we can to help – despite the challenges,” Lambert adds.

Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui recently described the dire situation in the country, speaking of a daily ‘concert of saucepans’ in Bangui, where desperately hungry people in the streets are banging their pots to draw attention to their plight.

The humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic is becoming dramatic, according to Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui.

“It’s catastrophic,” said the Archbishop. Basic services like health and education have collapsed following a coup, food is scarce, businesses are struggling to survive and public sector salaries have gone unpaid.

“The needs in my country are great. People are ill and don’t have medicines,” he said. Reports show that many medical clinics are either closed or have no medicine available.

“They don’t have food. Every evening for the past week there’s been a ‘concert of saucepans’ in Bangui. People are out on the streets banging their pots because they are so hungry,” said the Church leader.

Read the full article on Caritas.org.

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