BY CHAZ MUTH, CNS
CATHOLIC relief agencies and parishes worldwide have responded swiftly to the devastation in Haiti, which has been battered by four deadly hurricanes.
Officials of Caritas Internetionalis, the umbrella organisation for 162 national Catholic charity organisations. said on September 15 that they were seeking £2.4 million in donations for relief aid to the poorest country in the Americas.
Patrick Nicholson, a Caritas spokesman in Vatican City, said: "The series of natural disasters affecting Haiti comes at a critical time, as the vast majority of the population is already struggling with rising living costs. Caritas has already begun helping the worst-affected people despite it being difficult to reach cut-off communities."
Officials working for the US bishops' development and aid agency, Catholic Relief Services, said they were mobilising workers in Haiti, where more than a million residents have been displaced by the storms.
Development and Peace, the international development organisation of the Church in Canada, already has committed £28,000 in relief funds to Haiti and is appealing for more donations.
Four hurricanes have swept through Haiti since the middle of August, killing hundreds of people, devastating agricultural production and crippling the nation's infrastructure.