Catholic Relief Services provides ongoing emergency response and recovery activities around the world. Their work is possible thanks to the generous support of private and public donors, the dedication of local partners, and the unwavering presence of Caritas and the local Catholic Church.
Here is a look at some of the places in which they are working and trying to help.
Europe, The Middle East and Central Asia
SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS Millions of Syrians have been displaced for several years, and struggle with family separation, grief, uncertainty and finding somewhere to live with stability and dignity. CRS and our local partners have helped more than 1.4 million Syrians across the Middle East and Europe.
EUROPE Refugees continue to undertake dangerous journeys to Europe despite countries having heightened border restrictions. CRS and our local partners have assisted 400,000 refugees and migrants across Greece, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia and Bulgaria, where we are also helping other vulnerable groups.
IRAQ Since ISIS first captured Mosul in 2014, up to 3.5 million Iraqis have been uprooted. Now, the number of people returning home has exceeded the number displaced. CRS and Caritas programming continues to support uprooted families, while adapting to help returnees. Assistance includes shelter, education and livelihoods recovery, as well as vital living supplies. A critical component is ensuring children have access to quality formal education.
YEMEN Devastated by war and a supply blockade, Yemen is experiencing a humanitarian disaster, with 70 percent of the population in need of aid. About 462,000 children face acute malnutrition. CRS, through its partner Islamic Relief Yemen, is providing medicine, training health workers, treating malnourished women and children, and educating and equipping people for hygiene and cholera prevention.
“There are no job opportunities. With food prices increasing, we eat once a day,” Ahmed Amodi, father of a malnourished child.
East and South Asia
BANGLADESH Extreme violence in 2017 in Rakhine State, Myanmar, drove close to 1 million Rohingya people across the border into Bangladesh. In an area vulnerable to flooding, CRS is helping to improve shelter and living conditions of refugees by providing living supplies, and care and protection support.
INDONESIA Three major earthquakes have hit the island of Lombok in less than 2 weeks. More than 300 people have died and thousands have fled their homes. CRS is assessing the situation and supporting local partners in a coordinated effort with other humanitarian agencies and the government.
Latin America and The Caribbean
GUATEMALA The eruption of Volcan de Fuego on June 3 buried an entire community under ash. More than 100 people died. Roads were blocked, homes and crops destroyed, and animals perished. CRS is building shelters for families and helping children return to school.
VENEZUELA Political and economic instability are leaving people desperate for food, medical care and critical government services. More than 83 percent of the population live in poverty, and more than half in extreme poverty. Nearly 4 million people have become refugees in neighboring countries. CRS and our partner Caritas Venezuela are focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable, and expanding programming to help Venezuelan refugees in Brazil, Colombia and Trinidad.
MEXICO Two earthquakes days apart killed nearly 500 people in September 2017, and destroyed homes, infrastructure and utilities. CRS and our local partners continue to work with other relief agencies and the Mexican government to build shelters, provide food and living supplies, and counsel families dealing with trauma.
THE CARIBBEAN Hurricanes Irma and Maria resulted in loss of life, property and infrastructure in September 2017. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced. CRS and our partners are still supporting recovery in Dominica.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO Health officials
are closely monitoring a fresh outbreak of Ebola that has
killed 29 people. CRS is building latrines and shower facilities, rehabilitating water sources and helping ensure the rapid roll‐out of disease prevention education.
LAKE CHAD BASIN The Boko Haram crisis is estimated to have affected 10.9 million people in one of the world’s poorest, most drought‐prone regions. Across Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, Boko Haram has killed thousands of people, and the 2.4 million people who have fled their homes are in dire need of support. CRS continues to respond across all four countries, providing emergency food, agriculture and livelihoods support, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene.
UGANDA Ongoing violence between South Sudan’s government and opposition forces has caused more than 1 million South Sudanese people to flee into neighboring Uganda, where resources are stretched. In the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement where over 287,000 people live, CRS is supporting the most vulnerable families with shelter, infrastructure improvements, water and sanitation, plus livelihoods recovery. CRS programming also assists the local Ugandan host community.
For more information, visit https://www.crs.org
Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for CRS: Catholic Relief Services assists South Sudanese refugees in the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in northwestern Uganda.