DUBLIN JULY 18 2017 (CISA)-The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference has announced special collections in all Masses in Ireland to help resolve humanitarian crisis facing 25 million people across East Africa.
“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 people in large parts of East Africa. Millions of people in the region are facing starvation…the large number of people affected may shock us, but we must realise that behind these stark numbers are real people,” Archbishop Eamon Martin of the Catholic Archdiocese of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland told Vatican Radio.
He urged support for the collection from parishioners and said that the collections will take place on July 22-23 at all Masses throughout Ireland and donations will be made to Trócaire humanitarian relief work in East Africa.
“The Catholic Church in Ireland is already responding to this crisis through Trócaire. However, needs are so enormous that we will hold special collections across the country on the weekend of 22 July. All money collected will go directly to Trócaire’s humanitarian relief work in East Africa. Bishops are asking clergy and parishioners to respond to this terrible tragedy with generosity,” he added.
Trócaire is an overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland and member of the Caritas Network that is currently delivering emergency food, water and healthcare to the 25 million people affected.
Trócaire is currently running an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the crisis that Irish Bishops say has received very little attention.
Parts of East Africa including Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia have been hit by severe drought, driven by climate change. Conflict in South Sudan and Somalia has worsened humanitarian crisis overtime.
United Nations (UN) Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien on March 10 asked the international community to act and combat the famine and human catastrophes that he said were the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of Second World War.