After earthquake, Catholic relief agencies commit to rebuilding Peru
A magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck at 6:40 p.m. about 100 miles south of the capital city of Lima. Homes, churches and buildings, many made from adobe, crumbled under the intense shaking. The Pan American Highway, the country's major thoroughfare that links Lima with the affected areas to the south, buckled in places and became nearly impassible.
But the human toll was even greater. The worst earthquake to hit Peru in 30 years killed more than 500 people, many buried under tons of rubble. At least 35,000 homes were destroyed, leaving 85,000 suffering people in need of shelter.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) field staff in Peru mobilized immediately. Working with our local church partner, Caritas Peru, CRS began identifying critical needs and delivering life-saving supplies, including food, water, shelter, blankets, and cooking and hygiene kits, and other essential material. All CRS staff in Peru and many from across South America were dispatched to Peru to help in the effort.
They found that the earthquake took its greatest toll on those who were most vulnerable.
"The people most affected by the earthquake are some of the poorest to begin with," said Aaron Skrocki, CRS emergency coordinator in South America. "The earthquake has taken what was already a difficult situation and made it worse. That is where Catholic Relief Services comes in. We are there to support the local church helping people get back on their feet and regain their lives as quickly as possible."
CRS has committed an initial $100,000 and is seeking an additional $1.4 million to support Caritas Peru's response and reconstruction efforts. The appeal is part of a larger Caritas Confederation effort to raise $11 million for immediate relief and long-term recovery, which would ultimately help some 50,000 people.
Caritas Peru has already set up its main centers of operations in Pisco, Cańete, Ica and Chinca, where hundreds of volunteers are helping with aid distributions and other activities. Traveling through Chincha, Ica, and Pisco, the three cities nearest the quake's epicenter, Skrocki and a CRS/Caritas assessment team found widespread destruction in the poorer rural areas where homes are made of adobe. Initial relief efforts were hampered due to the condition of the roads.
In addition, fragile potable water and irrigation systems were destroyed by the tremor. Restoring the systems over the next several months will be critical in allowing displaced families to return to farming the land and watering their livestock.
But for the time being, the emergency response takes precedence. Recovery will be a long-term process.
"Right now we have to focus on the most immediate needs of the Peruvian people," said Brian Goonan, regional representative for South America. "Once the immediate needs are met, CRS' long-term response will include permanent shelters, continued access to clean water, infrastructure improvements and the recovery and rehabilitation of livelihoods."
CRS, in partnership with Caritas Peru, has been responding to natural disasters in Peru since 1954. In addition to emergency relief, the agency supports programs--credit unions, health education and agricultural production--that help poor, marginalized communities become self-reliant.
- - -
How to Help? Donations can be made:
- On online at www.crs.org.
- By telephone at 1-877-HELP-CRS.
- By mail by sending a check (noting Peru Earthquake Fund in the memo section of the check) to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, Md. 21203-7090.
Catholic Relief Services
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- St. Marian: Saint of the Day for Friday, April 20, 2018
- Scientists detect disastrous trend in North Atlantic waters
- 7 Famous Men You Probably Didn't Realize Were Knights
- Daily Readings for Friday, April 20, 2018
- The Memorare HD Video
- Global Warming threatening Europe with colder weather HD Video
- Catholic Relief Services builds hospital in Haiti
- God Alone Suffices HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, April 21st, 2018 HD
- St. Leo the Great HD
- The Our Father HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education