Disasterous events worldwide in August and September have spelled out the need for immediate and sustained action to help respond to emergencies and rebuild communities. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has set up a general emergency fund to support our overseas partners in need.
More than 655,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since violence broke out in Rakhine state in August 2017. Many Bangladesh camps have been overwhelmed with the influx of refugees and they continue to come in their thousands every day. Conditions in the camps are very bad with people living in unsanitary conditions without adequate shelter from the baking sun or cold at night. When the monsoon rains come the situation will become even worse. We are supporting our partners Caritas Bangladesh who have helped more than 54,600 families. The New Zealand Government is now matching our donations dollar for dollar.
In South Asia an estimated 40 million people have been affected due to floods caused by monsoons. Entire villages in India have remained submerged since mid-August while in Pakistan, floods have caused a rise in Dengue fever cases.
Across the world, the most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in a century killed approximately 96 people. The 8.1 magnitude quake’s epicentre was in the Pacific Ocean—120 kilometres off the coast and struck on Friday, 8 September. Around 1.85 million homes were affected due to loss of electricity, while others were lacking water for up to two days. A second earthquake of magnitude 7.1 hit on Tuesday, 19 September.
Further east, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane (registering at a category 5), has devastated the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma has caused 82 fatalities and over 62.67 billion USD in damage. 265,000 people were affected—left homeless and without drinking water. Hurricane Maria (a category 5) currently threatens those already affected by Irma, with winds exceeding 250km/h.
Funds received from our general emergency fund will address the needs of those affected by these emergencies worldwide.
*If donating online, select General Emergency Fund