The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. and other private U.S. organizations and corporations are raising millions of dollars in food, medicine, clothing, vehicles, and other humanitarian aid for Nicaraguan refugees. And millions of well-meaning U.S. Christians are donating money that is serving, directly or indirectly, to sustain Nicaraguan contras and to perpetuate the contra terrorism that has killed or injured more than 8,000 Nicaraguans since 1982, more than half of them civilians.
Numerous sources, both pro- and anti-contra, concede the "contra relief" aspects of these relief efforts focused on the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. Pro-contra groups will not speak out against the programs because they are succeeding in aiding the contras. Many neutral and anti-contra observers also are reluctant to criticize the programs because they assume that, in addition to the contras, many refugees are being aided; they say they do not want to jeopardize programs that are helping needy people.