By Arnold Neliba
ADDIS ABABA, APRIL 6, 2021 (CISA)-The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia through the Social and Development Commission has approved the work plan for the year 2021 which commits to mobilize more than 2.8 Billion Ethiopian Birr towards benefiting more than seven million citizens.
“The Ethiopian Catholic Church will continue implementing various projects which could benefit people and have a plan to mobilize more than 2.8 Billion Ethiopian Birr in the year 2021 and benefit more than seven million citizens,” reads a statement released by Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat.
The statement follows the Commissions’ annual General Assembly on Wednesday March 31 held at the General Secretariat of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia. According to a report, the Church implemented 189 projects worth 2.5 billion Birr which benefited over six million people.
“The Ethiopian Catholic Church in the year 2020 has implemented 189 social and development projects in different parts of the country worth 2.5 billion birr and benefited more than six million citizens. The Church also planned to implement projects worth 2.8 billion birr to benefit more than seven million citizens in the year 2021,” the statement reads.
Among the challenges cited by the commission in fulfilling their mandate are natural and Man-made disasters, Covid-19 pandemic, desert locusts, floods, war and conflicts. The Ethiopian Catholic Church reported to have raised 40,000,000.00 (forty million Ethiopian Birr) from international donor partners to respond to the pandemic emergencies.
“The raised funds were used for the purchase and distribution of foods, non-food items and Covid-19 protective equipment for staff working in Catholic Health institutions. The Church also issued guidelines to be used in all places of worship, schools, health facilities, and all church institutions to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic,” it adds.
“The Church also raised over 80,000,000.00 (Eighty Million Ethiopian Birr) and is providing financial and food assistance to people affected by war and various conflicts in Tigray, Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz and other regions. The Church is providing immediate assistance to (Internally Displaced People) IDPs by distributing foods rations and non-food items,” the statement reads further outlining the Church’s commitment in establishing lasting peace in the Tigray region.
The Catholic Church’s Services provided by the Social and Development Commission include Health, Education, Food security, promotion of Women’s and Children’s life, clean water supply, Emergency responses and Socio-pastoral care for refugees and returnees.