ASIA/KAZAKHSTAN - Political tension is rising again; people need help and social assistance

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 caritas   society   violence  

Almaty (Agenzia Fides) - Tension is rising again in Kazakhstan. About ten days after the beginning of the withdrawal of the Russian forces that had quelled the uprising on January 5, the city of Almaty is back in a state of alert for today and tomorrow, January 19 and 20. This is what the missionary Fr. Guido Trezzani, national director of Caritas Kazakhstan, based in the country's financial capital, reports to Agenzia Fides: "There are reports that someone is trying to gather the population to hold meetings in Almaty and other cities. The army has returned to the streets. In the parents' chat, some school directors ask that children not be sent to school alone, but that they must be accompanied. Those working in Almaty have been asked not to go to the office today or tomorrow, or to leave the workplace at noon. We were afraid that it was not all over, and now those fears have been confirmed". Problems are also beginning to be reported with the Internet connection, which was interrupted during the first days of the demonstrations to prevent the protesters from communicating quickly. In the meantime, says the missionary, after the catastrophes that followed the revolt, many people are turning to Caritas Kazakhstan for help: "A huge amount of work is falling upon us because organizations or individuals are coming to ask us for support. Among them is a women's association that helps former prisoners with AIDS or victims of violence. Yesterday, in a meeting, we decided to hire a person who deals exclusively with this emergency, to allow us to respond to requests, but also to continue the projects already underway", explains Fr. Trezzani. In this context, Caritas has also received various offers of help: "An Italian association, after learning about what happened in Almaty, offered to start a fundraising campaign for Caritas, while the Red Cross has made itself available to support us. We are in permanent contact with everyone to follow the situation and help in any way we can", he concludes. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 19/1/2021)