Sydney (Fides Service) - Caritas Australia lost no time in arranging assistance for the victims of the 28 March earthquake on the island of Nias. As for the December 26 tsunami, the Catholic aid agency was among the first of the humanitarian agencies to provide emergency supplies of food and water and medicine.
A Caritas Australia medical team is about to depart for Niam to start a healthcare programme consisting of a field hospital, distribution of medicine, and purification of water. Caritas operates in collaboration with Catholic Relief Service (US Caritas) and Jesuit Refugees Service the latter has been very active in Indonesia and present for several years.
On the occasion of the tsunami last year in just a few days Caritas Australia collected 4 million dollars for aid. During Lent Caritas Australia launched a nation wide Compassion Campaign and once again Catholics and other men and women of good will responded with generosity. The 12 million dollars collected will support reconstruction and humanitarian programmes in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India. Caritas Australia also supports aid initiatives in Sudan, East Timor, Cambodia and other countries.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/3/2005 righe 28 parole 289)