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[casi] Caritas Prepares for War


MADRID, Spain, FEB. 9, 2003 ( Caritas International, the Catholic
Church-run worldwide assistance network, is preparing to address the
consequences of a possible military attack on Iraq.

"We are preparing to be massacred," the Caritas-Iraq office said.

During a meeting with the media Feb. 7, Jose Sanchez Faba, Director of
Caritas-Spain, explained that the different national Caritas offices (there
are 154 worldwide) are preparing to give humanitarian assistance, in case the
United States attacks Iraq.

Many have already begun to collect provisions, medicine, and clothes as a
precaution. The office of Cartas-Iraq, located in Amman, Jordan, will
coordinate Caritas' humanitarian aid if hostilities do break out.

"We estimate that there will be around 500,000 displaced people if the war
breaks out," the directors of Caritas-Spain said, "and this only if it is, as
the U.S. has announced, a rapid action. If the war is prolonged, the number
would be much greater."

"Caritas-Iraq has already appealed for help from different delegations of the
association, [asking] them to send provisions, clothes, etc., as people would
go to the churches for protection in case of war," they said.


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