By a Special Correspondent Caritas Internationalis, worldwide federation of national Catholic charities organisations, has provided more than £10 million of emergency assistance in the last six months,with almost half of it coming from Catholics in the United States.
At the annual meeting of the executive committee of Caritas Internationalis held in Rome recently it was reported that the total of emergency funds and goods provided by Caritas Inter nationalis member organisations from November, 1973 to April, 1974, was $25,385,141. Of that total, Catholic Relief Services, the United States Catholic overseas aid organisation, provided $12,866,968.
The emergency assistance went to programmes to relieve the disastrous effects of floods In Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Peru; housing construction in Nicaragua; aid to Africa's subSahara populations suffering from drought, as well as to relief and assistance for war refugees in South East Asia and the Middle East.
North American and European organisations working with Caritas Internationalis were particularly active in trying to lessen the suffering and privation brqught on by the African drought.
According to Caritas International's, programmes in this area included development projects, importation of cattle and goats to replenish diminished herds, well digging and the building of new irrigation systems.
Other major donor agencies for emergency programmes in the last six months include: Germany. 54.6 million; Spain, $2.5 million; Austria, $1.7 million; Switzerland, $1.6 million, and France $1 million.
During the executive committee's meeting, it was agreed that the programme to develop regional secretariats of Caritas Internationalis' member organisations was reconfirmed. Some 90 Catholic relief and assistance organisations are affiliated with Caritas Internationalis at present and the need for regional offices has become ever more necessary, the central committee declared.