Kuala Lumpur (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic communities of Malaysia have begun to provide humanitarian aid and basic necessities to people affected by the floods that occurred in Malaysia last December. Massive damage was recorded in eight states of the Federation of Malaysia, while more than 125,000 people have been displaced for about a month, 54 dead and two missing. The lives of thousands of families have been turned upside down. Many have lost everything, others are struggling to recover from the trauma and have no means of livelihood.
The state of Selangor, the richest in the country, is the hardest hit by the floods; especially the town of Shah Alam, where houses and vehicles have been submerged by water, and there is severe damage to public and private infrastructure and property.
In the aftermath of the floods, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia (CBCM) and Caritas Malaysia launched a National Relief Fund for aid and solidarity initiatives. Parishes and local communities continue to raise funds to help people affected by the floods and the Bishops have issued a heartfelt appeal to this effect.
"The Disaster Relief Response team in Caritas is sharing information to indicate needs and priorities, in close contact with parishes, congregations and Catholic realities, who have responded generously", explains Msgr. Bernard Paul, Bishop of Malacca-Johore and president of Caritas Malaysia. "The funds raised are used to purchase basic necessities for those affected and for the displaced people welcomed in various parishes", he said.
Thousands of families - reports Caritas - need help to rebuild their lives and basic services in their homes, such as electrical services, kitchens and other domestic infrastructures. Caritas Malaysia has received international support from the Caritas Asia network, especially Caritas Hong Kong, Caritas Philippines and other Caritas in the region. "It is particularly significant - Bishop Paul notes - that aid comes from the Philippines devastated by the recent typhoon Odette (Rai). This shows the real spirit of Christian charity". (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 24/1/2022)