Media CenterCRS responds to “devastating” Sierra Leone Landslides
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Relief Services
(443) 955- 7125
Updated August 24, 2017
BALTIMORE, MD, August 24, 2017 – In the aftermath of the August 14 landslide that devastated entire neighborhoods in Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is providing psychosocial support as well as water and other supplies to impacted communities. The devastating event killed hundreds of people and caused major property damage throughout the affected region.
“The devastation is like nothing we’ve seen before. Entire neighborhoods have been washed away,” said Idalia Amaya, CRS’ deputy head of programs for Sierra Leone and the emergency response coordinator. “There are people whose entire families have gone missing. There is a real sense of despair. Right now, people are in a complete state of shock.”
To address people’s immediate needs, CRS is supplying water to those in the camp sites along with mattresses and blankets. In addition, CRS is providing psychosocial support through counseling and trauma healing, and is also supporting the government with dignified burials of those who perished. In assisting with burials, CRS is drawing from the experience of CRS’ Ebola response in 2014.
“People here have already experienced so much trauma having lived through war and then Ebola, and now this,” she said. “But at the same time, people from Sierra Leone are incredibly resilient and I know that with the proper support they will overcome this latest tragedy.”
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit crs.org or crsespanol.org and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.