07/17/2017, 15.24
PHILIPPINES

Church providing relief to Marawi victims

by di Santosh Digal

The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) and Caritas Philippines are handing out food, hygiene kits and other essential goods to 3,005 beneficiaries in 12 villages in Illigan City. Psychological support is also provided to women and children traumatised by the fighting. Five staff members and 20 volunteers, Christians and Muslims, are working on the ground.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) and Caritas Philippines, the social service wing of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), are providing relief to the victims of the on-going crisis in Marawi, southern Philippines.

The two agencies have been handing out relief goods such as food, hygiene kits and other essential items to 3,005 beneficiaries in 12 barangays (villages) in Illigan City as part of the immediate response and early recovery measures put in place when fighting broke out on 23 May, this according to Jing Rey Henderson, communication and partnership development coordinator of NASSA/Caritas Philippines.

The beneficiaries are not in evacuation centres, but are staying instead with family or in other people's homes following the breakout of violence, Henderson added.

NASSA and Caritas Philippines are also providing psychological support to women and children traumatised by the fighting.  "Besides material help, psychological interventions are crucial at this stage for people affected by the crisis," Henderson stressed.

About five staff members and 20 volunteers, Christians and Muslims, are working with government and non-government agencies to hep affected people.

NASSA and Caritas Philippines are making use of the Alay Kapua funds (the Lenten evangelisation and fundraising programme of the Philippines Church) to provide humanitarian services in crisis-affected areas around Marawi.

The goal is to raise more money together with Caritas Internationalis and other donor organisations around the world.

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