From a Special Correspondent
MORE than $4 million (about £1,650,000) has been spent by Caritas Internationalis, the International Conference of Catholic Charities, on relief in Nigeria and Biafra in the first nine months of this year, according to a report from its Rome headquarters.
Catholics from countries all over the world who arc supporters of Caritas have contributed to the relief programme. The ecumenical aspect of the aid was quickly organised under the name of Joint Church Aid, comprising both Catholics and Protestants.
Fr. Anthony Byrne. organiser of the first relief flight into Biafra, and Caritas Biafran Relief Programme Director in the island of Sao Tome since Christmas 1967. writes: "This operation has proved that ecumenism is possible in social relief work, SUPPIJES SHARED "The Protestant and Catholic organisations co-operate in this programme by sharing supplies, using common warehouses, local transportation facilities and aircraft and participating in common Press conferences. Ways and means of co-ordination and co-operation are discussed at our common meetings." Fr. Byrne points out that a constant struggle had to he fought by all the organisations engaged in the J.C.A. airlift to maintain the operation financially. The programme, he writes. has benefited by the assistance of many existing relief organ isa t ions like Diakonisches Werk, Caritas Internationalis, Nordchurchaid and Catholic Relief Services.
Since the establishment of the J.C.A. programme, new organisations have also come into being. J.C.A. now comprises 35 member agencies and supporters.