Caritas Aotearoa appeal ‘on target’

Mourners pray next to the graves of their relatives who died after contracting COVID-19, at a cemetery in Ahmedabad, India, May 14, 2021. (CNS photo/Amit Dave, Reuters)

Despite the pandemic, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is “on target” to raise $900,000 through its recent Lent Appeal.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand director Julianne Hickey said that, in a “normal” year, the target would have been $1,000,000.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Director Julianne Hickey

“We recognise the significant challenges that people are facing, due to the uncertainty with the pandemic,” she said. “However, this money raised will enable Caritas to undertake our work of justice and peace through humanitarian, development, advocacy and education activities here in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific and around the world. It’s work that is much needed during the pandemic.”

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is supporting Caritas India as that country is currently experiencing the worst Covid-19 crisis in the world.

On May 4, India passed a grim milestone of 20 million registered cases of Covid-19, with 120 people dying every hour in the last week of April and first week of May, according to CBS News (US).

“We have pledged support [for] the work of Caritas India in facing the Covid crisis that is sweeping their country. Through our Pandemic Appeal fund, we have made an initial solidarity grant of NZ$10,000, and hope to send more as our generous supporters respond to the urgent needs,” said Mrs Hickey.

Caritas India outlined its plan to support the people in fighting Covid. This includes the establishment of 60 first-level temporary Covid Isolation and Quarantine Centres (Samaritan Care) around the country.

Mrs Hickey said Caritas India told them that each centre will support 200 individuals with food, medical and primary care.

Caritas India will also establish 200 first-level Covid Care information Centres. Each centre will support 2000 people.

They plan to provide 3500 medical kits, which will include a pulse oximeter, a steam inhaler, N-95 masks and other necessary equipment.

They also plan to provide 500 volunteers and staff with protection gear, as well as insurance coverage for 5000 frontline workers.

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Rowena Orejana

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