Friday, September 12, 2008

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Caritas Needs $4.3 Million for Haiti

ROME, SEPT. 11, 2008 ( A Haitian bishop is appealing for help to keep more of his countrymen from dying in the wake of the four deadly storms that tore apart the Caribbean island.

Caritas Internationalis has launched an emergency appeal for $4.3 million to help the 600,000 who were left homeless by the four storms that hit Haiti over the last month.

Gonaives, on the west coast, is one of the hardest-hit cities, Caritas reported. Its bishop, Yves Marie Péan, said, "Already many people have succumbed. Many more will die if we can't get them the immediate support they require. Help us provide for these many victims through the continued efforts of Caritas."

The series of natural disasters affecting Haiti comes at a critical time, as the vast majority of the population is already struggling with rising living costs. Haiti was the scene of violent food riots in April.

Caritas reported that the 2008 hurricane season coupled with the increase in food prices have considerably impacted people's ability to cope.

Benedict XVI appealed for help for the island nation during the address before praying the midday Angelus last Sunday.

"I am close to the whole nation and I hope that it will receive as soon as possible the necessary aid," he said.