.- Catholic Charities USA has received a five-year, 100 million dollar federal contract to aid in disaster relief throughout the United States. The contract is the charity’s first ever federal contract.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Administration for Children and Families (ACF) section awarded the contract to Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), a 100-year-old service organization.
The contract allows HHS to issue task orders to the agency for aid in connection with a specific disaster. The agreement became effective on July 20, a Monday CCUSA press release says.
Under the contract, the charity will organize national, regional and local teams and work in partnership with them to ensure disaster case management preparedness and delivery.
Though the contract covers all types of disasters, Catholic Charities noted that the agreement comes in time for the 2009 hurricane season. The federal government’s first task order concerned case management work related to the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustave and Ike.
Fr. Larry Snyder, CCUSA President and CEO, commented on the contract in a statement.
“We all hope and pray for zero disasters, but reality forces us to be prepared,” he said.
“Our people, our agencies, and our partners have exceptional first-hand experience -- not only from Katrina, Gustav and Ike -- but from our every day work in serving those most devastated and most in need across the country. People know they can turn to Catholic Charities to get the job done. We thank the Department of Health and Human Services for their confidence in us.”
Fr. Snyder characterized the contract as “a very strong endorsement of who we are and what we do, and powerful recognition of the donors who support us and who we will now need to count on more than ever.”
He explained that the contract is specifically for disaster case management operations for individual and family needs “long after the initial impact.”
“It does not cover disaster response direct assistance, so we must continue to maintain and grow our donations to support that critical front."
CCUSA, which is among the top five largest non-profit charities in the country, says it will reach out to its counterparts such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and others to establish any mutual engagement opportunities.