Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 23, 2003
CCODP provides emergency aid
Sri Lanka, Peru, Phillipines and Turkey battered
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
The development agency for the Catholic Church in Canada is providing $205,000 to fund aid projects in Sri Lanka, Turkey, Peru and the Philippines.
The money is to help victims of floods and landslides in Sri Lanka, earthquakes in Turkey and Peru, and to support peace initiatives and provide food in the Philippines, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace said in a news release June 13.
The $70,000 Philippines aid package involves canned goods, medicine, temporary shelter and basic necessities for 11,000 displaced families in areas in Mindanao devastated by years of guerrilla warfare, it said.
About 5,000 families are living in evacuation centres and 6,000 have moved in with friends or relatives.
"The families are the latest victims of a 25-year campaign by guerrillas to establish an independent Islamic state," said the CCODP.
"Fighting between government troops and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has forced 140,000 to 200,000 people from their homes in recent months."
The peace aspect of the project is designed to ease the growing tensions between the Christian, Islamic and indigenous populations in the area, said the agency.
It involves the establishment of a "Tri-People Peace Camp Summit" to explore community-based conflict resolution processes and peace-building initiatives.
The organization said some of its support has been set aside to feed 500 Christian, Muslim and Lumad (indigenous peoples) farming families who fled fighting near Sultan Kudarat.
In Sri Lanka, torrential rains in three districts took 200 lives and left 150,000 people homeless and another 500 missing, said the CCODP. The agency is providing $50,000 for food and supplies to help care for some of the tens of thousands of people who have taken refuge in temples, mosques and churches.
The aid is part of a $230,000 international effort to provide food, milk, clothing and building supplies.
In Turkey, Development and Peace is aiding victims of an earthquake in Bingol - "an impoverished city of 71,000 people in the country's south east" - by providing $50,000 for a range of supplies and services that include sleeping bags, water, food packages and garbage disposal. The money is being distributed by Caritas Turkey.
Victims of a killer earthquake that hit an impoverished area high in the Andes Mountains of Peru in June are to be sent $35,000 in aid.
"The CCODP money will help the mostly indigenous population increase its earning power and reduce the effects of future disasters by developing an economic development plan, reducing mortality rates of farm animals and improving farmers' health and nutrition."