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Pakistan

Caritas provides funds for evicted families in Pakistan

The 60 Christian families were rendered homeless after an anti-encroachment drive in Karachi

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Published: October 29, 2021 08:48 AM GMT

Updated: October 29, 2021 10:09 AM GMT

Caritas provides funds for evicted families in Pakistan

Archbishop Benny Mario Travas with other dignitaries at the Oct. 27 distribution of rent assistance to Christian families affected by the anti-encroachment drive in Karachi, Pakistan. (Photo supplied)

Caritas Karachi has extended cash support to 60 Christian families affected by an anti-encroachment drive by local authorities in the port city of Sindh province in southern Pakistan.

The families from the parishes of St. Jude’s, St. Philip’s and St. Michael’s in the Archdiocese of Karachi will be able to rent new places after being forcibly evicted from their dwellings.

Archbishop Benny Mario Travas was the chief guest at the Oct. 27 distribution ceremony attended by local parish priests along with the beneficiaries and volunteers of Caritas Karachi.

In his welcome remarks, Mansha Noor, executive secretary of Caritas Karachi, said the volunteers were the backbone of Caritas’ work as they were the ones who identified and reached out to affected families.

He also mentioned the guidance, encouragement and support of Archbishop Travas and the parish priests who had helped them reach the evicted families with shelter and cash support for rent, food, hygiene kits and kitchen sets.

The archbishop thanked the benefactors from Missio Austria, Caritas Japan, Caritas Italiana and Caritas Pakistan who were financially helping and supporting the affected families.

God loves everyone, especially the poor and those who are living in difficult conditions like you after your homes were demolished by the government

Amir Robin, regional coordinator for Caritas, described their eviction emergency response. “We trained our staff and volunteers to gather the data of affected families, identify the most deserving and vulnerable evicted people through Google,” he explained.

Caritas will continue to support the evicted families through the restoration of their livelihoods, skill training for youths and women, psychosocial and educational support to children and promotion of small businesses.

Archbishop Travas said: “God loves everyone, especially the poor and those who are living in difficult conditions like you after your homes were demolished by the government.”

He thanked the staff and volunteers at Caritas for their commitment and hard work.

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Anti-encroachment drives have become a repeat feature ever since a court order to remove the informal settlements mushrooming near two narrow streams passing through Karachi, locally known as the Gujjar nullah and the Orangi nullah, in the wake of the 2019 flash floods.

In June, UN human rights experts called on Pakistan to stop evicting close to 100,000 people living alongside the waterways.

According to a statement by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the anti-encroachment drive by city authorities was carried out "without adequate consultation with the affected residents, no relocation plan, and disparate and insufficient compensation for the displaced.”

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