Emergency aid for refugees in the Central African Republic
"More than ever, this country needs our prayers, our help and our attention."
After a few relatively peaceful months, unrest broke out again in the Central African Republic on September 26, when more than 40 people were killed, and widespread looting occurred in the capital Bangui. One Christian church was burned down and some 800 prisoners were freed from prison, among them many rebel fighters.
Close to 40,000 people were forced to flee the violence, taking refuge in monasteries and convents, in parish centers and inside the airport perimeter, where thousands of refugees have already been staying for the past two years. The situation has been made worse by the fact that many of the centers of the humanitarian relief organizations were also looted, including the offices of Caritas, whose staff are now also sheltering with the other refugees.
These people urgently need our help. Christine du Coudray, the head of the Africa desk at ACN's international headquarters, reports: "More than ever, this country needs our prayers, our help and our attention."
Pope Francis is planning to visit the country on November 29 and 30. This visit should be a sign of hope for a better and more peaceful future. Christine du Coudray continues: "We are hoping and praying that all these hopes will not simply be brought to nothing. Everything possible needs to be done to stop this country sinking once again into a spiral of violence and chaos."
Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui, who is also president of the Central African bishops' conference and president of the national Caritas association, has been visiting the many refugee camps and endeavoring to provide food and the most urgent assistance. ACN has promised him $119,700.
Will you help us fulfill this promise to provide emergency aid to refugees in the Central African Republic?
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