First Caritas medical supplies arrive in desperate Liberia

 Urgently needed medical supplies have just arrived in the war ravaged Liberian capital Monrovia, sent by the Catholic international development network, Caritas. The emergency supplies are enough to treat 20,000 people for three months and will be used to restock Caritas Liberia medical centres across the country. CAFOD Emergencies Officer Alistair Dutton, who is leading the Caritas Emergency Response team in Monrovia said that the supplies are desperately needed. He said: "I am really shocked by the situation in Monrovia. This is one of the worst humanitarian situations that I have ever worked in. "The real problem is that there are too many people in too small a space. It is estimated that the population of Monrovia has swollen to ten times its normal size because thousands upon thousands of people have fled to there to escape fighting in the country. I spoke to one Caritas worker this morning who normally lives with just her husband and two children but currently has 22 people in her house. "That overcrowding is putting real pressure on the water and sewage systems and there is a real risk of water borne diseases such as cholera taking a hold on the city." Mr Dutton's experience in humanitarian situation includes work in Iraq during the recent conflict, in Gujarat, Albania, Eritrea and Zambia. The Caritas Emergency team arrived in Monrovia on Friday and since then have been carrying out an assessment of the situation together with Caritas Liberia and Caritas Monrovia. CAFOD is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee Liberia appeal. Donations can be made online at by call 0870 60 60 900 or at any high street bank or post office.

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