Caritas Australia event sees funds raised for a world in crisis

L -R: John Watkins Former Deputy Premier of NSW, Robert Fitzgerald Caritas Australia Chair, The Hon Bob Carr Former Premier of NSW and Kirsty Robertson CEO Of Caritas Australia Credit. Photo Credit: Caritas Australia.

Caritas Australia gathered supporters and ministers together at NSW Parliament House this week to engage in action in the face of increasingly intense and complex global challenges. 

In 2023, deaths from global conflict increased by 96% to 238,000, with 120m people now forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide. Meanwhile, climate damage is costing the world $16.3 millionper hour in damages.   

Keynote speakers were the Honorable Bob Carr, former Premier of New South Wales and Foreign Minister of Australia, and Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia. 

Bob Carr addressed attendees on climate, giving Kiribati as an example of how Australia can assist small island states in the South Pacific. He then explored the role of Australia’s diplomatic leadership amid the prospect of war between rising and prevailing global powers, while drawn out wars of attrition persist in Ukraine and Gaza. 

Kirsty Robertson spoke to some of the challenges the Caritas Australia Emergency Response Fund seeks to address. Giving examples of support for displaced people in Ukraine and Moldova, for those facing the most sever hunger crisis of our time in the Horn of Africa, those impacted by brutal conflicts in Gaza and Sudan, and communities being destroyed by climate impacts across Asia and the Pacific Islands. 

Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia said, “Our Emergency Relief Fund supports real communities to prepare, respond and recover from disasters. Most of these disasters never make the front page of the papers, are never live streamed onto your phones or talked about in the workplace. But they affect communities across the world and disproportionately affect women, children, the elderly, and those with disabilities.” 

Last year alone Caritas Australia: 

  • Responded to 26 emergencies in 24 countries. 
  • Reached 2.5 million people though the CI network. 
  • Assisted nearly 400,000 facing emergencies directly through Caritas Australia. 
  • And a further 845,000 through its role in the Church Agencies Disasters Network. 

“That is the power of Caritas” Kirsty Robertson added, “the power of being part of the second largest humanitarian network in the world. We get to change things. We are the tiny beacons of light in these communities who suffer so much. We do not need magic to change lives. The power to make a difference resides within each of us” she concluded.