10/14/2006, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Islamabad: Government recognises Catholics' work with quake survivors

by Qaiser Felix

Awards were conferred upon Caritas and Catholic Relief Services during a ceremony that took place exactly a year after the quake that killed 80,000 people in the north of the country.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – The Pakistani government has awarded the national Caritas and other Christian organisations "for selfless humanitarian work" to help survivors of the quake of 8 October 2005.

The award-giving ceremony took place in the capital a year after the quake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale and devastated the north of the country, killing around 80,000 people and leaving three million people homeless.

A government representative conferred the award upon Amjad Gulzar, coordinator of emergency projects of the Catholic organization, with a plaque and certificate that read: "A tribute for providing a helping hand for the relief of earthquake victims of 8 October 2005".

Mgr Joseph Coutts, director of Caritas Pakistan, told AsiaNews: "Our work for quake survivors is only a small part of the help given by Caritas. With support from the International Caritas network, the work of reconstruction and rehabilitation in quake-hit areas will continue for the next few years."

During the ceremony, Catholic Relief Services was also awarded: it received the prestigious "Star of Sacrifice" for its "comprehensive and timely response for the displaced people".

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