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Cablegate: Caritas Operations to Continue in Iraq Despite

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS VATICAN 003564

SIPDIS


DEPT. FOR EUR/WE: LEVIN; NEA/NGA

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM EAID IZ VT
SUBJECT: CARITAS OPERATIONS TO CONTINUE IN IRAQ DESPITE
RISING THREATS TO PERSONNEL


1.Caritas, the humanitarian aid agency of the Catholic
Church, will continue operations to support Iraqi
reconstruction despite a recent increase in the threat
level to its personnel. In a statement issued September
10, responding in part to the abduction of two Italian aid
workers in Baghdad, Caritas said that its Iraq office works
primarily with children and young mothers, administering 14
centers in the Baghdad, Mosul, Karakoush, Kirkuk and Bassra
regions. Two of these are jointly administered with the
Red Crescent.

2.More than 100 local nutrition, engineering and
technical experts, along with local volunteers have to date
e
assisted some 24,000 children and 10,000 mothers and
pregnant women with two million euros of overseas aid.
Part of this figure has been spent on supplying hospitals
in Baghdad and Mosul, as well as seven clinics. Other
Caritas projects include feeding programs for at-risk
groups -- the homeless, elderly, disabled, orphans and
widows without family support. Food aid is being
supplemented by projects to restore clean water. Planned
reconstruction work for homes destroyed in fighting is on
hold at present because of the security situation.

3.Comment: Caritas' international federation will
continue to provide partnership funding for Caritas Iraq's
activities in Iraq. Using local personnel, Caritas lowers
the risk of attack or abduction for its staff. Caritas has
publicly condemned terrorist acts that target aid workers.
End comment.

4. MINIMIZE CONSIDERED

Nicholson


NNNN

2004VATICA03564 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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