Local, World

Caritas Macau reaches out to Afghanistan

January 14, 2022

Marco Carvalho

Caritas Macau has launched a fundraising campaign to help the population of Afghanistan, a nation that is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. The charity drive lasts for the next three months. The donations raised will be sent to Caritas Internationalis.

Caritas Macau responded affirmatively to the appeal recently launched by Caritas Internationalis and kicked off early this month a fundraising campaign to help the Afghan population. The campaign is aimed, in particular, at thousands of refugees and innocent children whose lives are in danger.

The Diocese of Macau joined the campaign and announced that on January 16th, during the Sunday Eucharist, a second collection will be conducted in all the local churches. The Diocese will channel the donations to Caritas Macau, which, in turn, will send them to Caritas Internationalis. The humanitarian and development organisation of the Catholic Church will arrange the resources to be used by those who are suffering the most with what Caritas claims to be “one of the worst humanitarian situations” currently on the agenda.

In a public appeal made in early December, the international confederation of relief services urged the international community to promote an urgent humanitarian response to address the suffering of the Afghan people. Afghanistan, Caritas Internationalis claims, is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, a position endorsed by Caritas Macau: “Over the last month, we realized the dire situation affecting the Afghan people. Afghans are facing a lot of difficulties, particularly children and refugees. Our aim is to do something, so that we can raise the awareness of the people of Macau,” Paul Pun told O CLARIM. “It doesn’t really matter how much people are willing to offer. In a certain way, what really matters is to offer assistance to these people, to show that the world has not forgotten them. Currently, different parts of the world are faced with refugee issues, like Syria for instance. During the last several years, we have been lending a helping hand to Syrian refugees, but now we want to do something to help Afghanistan,” the secretary-general of Caritas Macau adds.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August, plunging the country deeper into poverty. Caritas Internationalis says that two decades of civil war, the impact of climate change and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, aggravated by the political turmoil and chaos that gripped the country, have left millions of people fighting for their lives.

The arrival of the very harsh winter season has made the prospects of the Afghan population even more bleak. The blizzards and heavy rains that hit several regions of the country in recent days made matters worse, the United Nations has warned. 

The complicated weather conditions have affected several parts of the country in recent days. The snowfall forced the suspension of flights at Kabul International Airport, making it difficult for humanitarian aid to arrive in Afghanistan.

Caritas Internationalis estimates that around one million Afghan children are at risk of starvation, in a scenario that went from bad to worse with the collapse of the country’s economy. The international confederation of Catholic solidarity and humanitarian relief organizations estimates that half of the Afghan population is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, as the supply of food, water and medical resources is “severely inadequate.”

In addition to the collection that will be conducted in Macau’s churches next Sunday, Caritas Macau is also collecting donations through its various bank accounts. More information can be found at https://www.caritas.org.mo/donation.