Special Collection for the Middle East
The bishops of the United States will express their solidarity with Christians and other minorities in the Middle East in the face of ongoing violence and persecution by taking up a special collection. Proceeds from the collection will support immediate humanitarian and pastoral needs, as well as the cost of long-term church reconstruction. The collection will be taken in parishes across the United States on the weekend of September 13-14. Archbishop Kurtz wrote to President Obama expressing his concern for the plight of Christians in the Middle East. Read the letter on http://www.archlou.org/2014/08/14/23003/
CRS Response Strategy
CRS has committed an initial $650,000 in private funds to reach 10,000 families. CRS estimates a total of $4 million needed for short and long-term recovery needs.
§ Food, Water and Essential Living Supplies: With people on the move and robbed of their belongings, many have no means to purchase the basics. CRS and Caritas will provide food, water and living supplies.
§ Psychological and Social Support, and Trauma Healing: Emotional trauma is high, especially among religious and ethnic minorities who were the target of attacks. CRS will train staff and volunteers on trauma healing and the building of peaceful relations.
§ Education for Internally Displaced Children: Many children have missed months of school. CRS and Caritas will provide children with education and exam preparation, while helping schools with the influx of children.
§ Preparation for Longer-Term Resettlement: CRS is preparing for the long-term reality facing families: resettling in new locations, the onset of winter, safe shelter, and livelihood options, such as cash-for-work and vocational training.
Catholic Relief Services http://emergencies.crs.org/iraq-crs-response-strategy-during-displacement-crisis/
“It’s quite horrific. Catholic Relief Services—through our partner Caritas Iraq, in a local church—is responding immediately to provide essential food and non food items to all internally displaced Iraqis that are in the Kurdish region, the northern region of Iraq. Many of them are taking refuge in collective centers which are churches, schools, parking lots.”
–CRS’ Kris Ozar
“An appeal to all families: When you say your prayers, remember all those forced from their homes in Iraq.”