Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pope Asks for Help for Haiti

Benedict XVI Asks Help for Haiti

Island Plastered by Fourth Storm

CAGLIARI, Sardinia, ( Zenit.org ).- Benedict XVI is expressing his spiritual closeness to suffering Haitians, who have been plastered by four storms that have ravaged the island in a span of 25 days.

The Pope mentioned Haiti on Sunday before praying the midday Angelus during his pastoral visit to Sardinia, a semi-autonomous Italian island located in the Mediterranean Sea.

"Under Mary's gaze," he said, "I wish to remember the dear people of Haiti, harshly tried in past days in the wake of no less than three hurricanes. I pray for the victims, unfortunately numerous, and for the homeless. I am close to the whole nation and I hope that it will receive as soon as possible the necessary aid."

Since the Pope spoke of the nation, Hurricane Ike blasted it today, taking at least another 61 lives.

Caritas Internationalis reported that 600,000 Haitians are in need of aid and the AFP news agency informed today that some 600 people have died on the island as the result of the four storms.

“The situation in Haiti is desperate," Caritas Haiti Director-General Père Serge Chadic said. "These storms have left people with nothing. We need outside help.

"The people are in need of food, shelter and water. In a country already wracked by conflict and food riots, we’re appealing to the outside world for support.”

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the storms have left the destitute even more desperate. The island was the scene of food riots in April that resulted in the firing of the prime minister.

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