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Caritas launches typhoon appeal as funds run out

Caritas launches typhoon appeal as funds run out

People fall in line for the relief goods distributed by Este News, the media arm of the Diocese of Borongan, for the victims of Typhoon Ambo in Arteche, Eastern Samar on May 19. ALREN BERONIO

By CBCP News

May 21, 2020

Manila, Philippines

Caritas Philippines has launched funding appeals because the recent typhoon and the Covid-19 pandemic means that they face both a shortage of funds and increased demand for its services.

The health crisis means the church’s humanitarian arm stand to suffer income drops, more so that the lockdown affected its Lenten fundraising program called “Alay Kapwa”.

AK is a yearly campaign of the Catholic Church that supports the social services for the poor and in need especially during times of disaster.

“We feel this great challenge now with the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, who chairs Caritas Philippines.

He said Caritas’ current AK solidarity fund is only about P900 thousand and they have allotted P500,000 for typhoon response in the dioceses of Borongan and Catarman.

“We will not have enough if another disaster or emergency will happen during the next months,” the bishop said.

He also noted only a fraction of the country’s 85 dioceses has been “religiously” providing support to the national campaign mandated by the bishops’ conference.

The appeal urges bishops “to show solidarity” with the storm-hit dioceses “by giving your donations directly to them”.

Bagaforo also enjoined the dioceses to collectively support the AK program both at the diocesan and national levels.

“We need this solidarity mechanism to be able to appropriately and timely respond to the emergency needs of our communities, where the most vulnerable and marginalized families continue to be the most affected,” he said.

Typhoon “Ambo”, according to Caritas, has affected more than 200,000 people after it ravaged Samar and Quezon provinces.