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US bishops to visit typhoon-hit areas next month.

Manila (PNA) --US bishops are set to visit super typhoon "Yolanda"-affected areas in the Central Visayas region next month.

The delegation will be led by Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Oklahoma Archbishop Paul Coakley and other officials of Catholic Relief Services.

The group is expected to arrive in Manila on February 2, they will be met by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

However, there is no specific date yet as to when the church officials are going to Leyte and Samar, but they will be in the country until February 7.

The November 8 tragedy has killed more than 6,200 with more than 2,00 still missing. Over 1.1 million homes have been damaged, more than half of them totally destroyed.

"Numbers like that overwhelm everyone. That's why on the event of the Super Bowl, I'm packing sneakers to join a delegation with CRS to meet with Filipino church leaders and people from Samar and Leyte," Kurtz said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.

He added, "I'll visit Palo, just south of the city of Tacloban, and I'll walk through rubble to let people know that the Catholic Church in the United States cares and will help."

Aside from the US prelates, also joining them are Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, President of Catholic Health Association, and Carolyn Woo, President and CEO of CRS.

Earlier, the international humanitarian arm of the Catholic community in the US has pledged to raise US$ 50 million (roughly P2.2 billion) for the recovery of areas ravaged by the typhoon.

The CRS said its aid efforts have now shifted from emergency assistance to long-term recovery and stability programs.

Likewise, the agency committed to assist 100,000 families or 500,000 people with shelter, living supplies, water, sanitation, and livelihood.

Early this week, Pope's emissary, Cardinal Robert Sarah, the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum have visited the typhoon-hit areas to see recovery efforts of the church. (PNA)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jan 31, 2014
Words:345
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