A special collection will be taken up at all masses in Co. Cavan and right across the country on the weekend of July 22/23 to help people caught up in the current food crisis in east Africa. Trócaire, the overseas development charity, says that 25 million people in east Africa are facing starvation in the coming months and millions could die unless they receive immediate assistance.
Severe drought, driven by climate change, is currently affecting Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia and this has resulted in failed harvests and the widespread death of livestock.
Eamonn Meehan, Trócaire’s Executive Director, said, “With the failure of successive rains and a prolonged drought having taken hold of the region, just surviving has now become the main challenge facing the people of east Africa. Millions of people in the region are facing starvation. The crops have failed and animals are dying because of a lack of grazing and water.”
The United Nations has described the situation in the drought-ravaged parts of Africa as the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War but Trócaire says steps can be taken to reduce the number of people at risk if action is taken now.
“Trócaire is working on the ground and providing vital aid to hundreds of thousands of people. Trócaire is targeting particularly vulnerable groups including the elderly, people with disabilities and those living with HIV. Trócaire is also supporting health clinics in places like Turkana in northern Kenya. Many of the children coming there are very obviously malnourished. The clinics weigh and examine the children and the mothers of those who are identified as high-risk are given a high-protein, high-vitamin supplement to feed them,” said Eamonn.
“What Trócaire is providing at the moment is quite literally ‘life-support’ for people. In the coming months in Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia Trócaire is hoping to reach hundreds of thousands more people with emergency food, water and drought tolerant seeds but this can’t be done without the generosity of people in Co. Cavan. I would urge parishioners to please give what they can to the church collection,” said Eamonn Meehan.
To make a donation or to find out more about Trócaire’s response to the food crisis in east Africa visit www.trocaire.org