Catholic Organizations Supporting Peru

Aid Groups Helping People and Local Church

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BALTIMORE, Maryland, AUG. 20, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The international Catholic community is sending aid to Peru after that country was devastated by a magnitude-8 earthquake.



Catholic Relief Service's communications officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, Robyn Fieser, told ZENIT today that the group committed $100,000 for immediate assistance over the next 10-15 days.

The money is set "to provide basic support to those affected in most remote areas, including things like water, shelter, blankets, cooking utensils. Also trying to keep people warm since it is now very cold in Peru," she said.

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States.

Fieser affirmed that most of the damage from Wednesday's quake was done to outlying areas, away from major cities.

She said: "Most of the homes are made of adobe and crumbled from the earthquake, leaving large numbers of homeless people.

"As far as long-term, much of this will depend on how much money is raised for the effort, but we anticipated being able to help those who have lost their homes to find permanent shelters, clean water, usable infrastructure, and programs to get people back to work and children back into school."

Diocesan needs

Meanwhile, the Aid to the Church in Need organization based in Koenigstein, Germany, is offering assistance to the Church in Peru. The charity group sent $50,000 to the dioceses affected.

Two religious sisters were killed by the quake and a priest was injured. Church property damage was excessive; the cathedral in Ica, 12 churches and seminary were badly damaged or destroyed, Aid to the Church in Need reported, after speaking with Bishop Guido Breña López of Ica.

According to the bishop: "The priorities for the diocese would consist above all in the rebuilding of the ruined churches, and especially the cathedral, in humanitarian aid, notably for the priests who have been left with nothing, and the rebuilding of the seminary walls that have collapsed."