Northern Ireland news

Mass collections this weekend to support Trocaire's work in east Africa

Last year 72 female community influencers in the Gedo region of Somalia went to every household, teaching appropriate hygiene practices to each family in their districts. Picture from Trócaire
Maeve Connolly

Trócaire will be collecting at Mass this weekend to fund humanitarian work in east Africa where millions of people have been pushed "to the very edge of starvation”.  

The Irish Catholic Bishops have launched an emergency appeal to support Trócaire’s work and expressed "deep concern" at the triple threat of Covid-19, climate change and conflict.

Up to 30 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and South Kordofan are struggling in the face of life-threatening food shortages and rising costs of staple foods, fuel, and water. 

Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra said the charity is providing large-scale assistance in the form of food, nutrition and water. She said that coupled with the triple threat of climate change, conflict and Covid-19, desert locust infestation had "pushed millions of people across east Africa to the very edge of starvation".  

"Trócaire is responding in east Africa targeting the most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, people with disabilities and those who have been displaced from their homes by climate change and conflict.” 

Ms de Barra said a third wave of Covid-19 was contributing to the destruction of livelihoods "and pushing millions into desperation. The situation is also increasing the risks faced by women and girls, including gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse”. 

“It is absolutely crucial that firm commitments come out of the Cop26 meeting. We are calling for agreement on financing for 'loss and samage' for the irreparable harm caused by climate change that has huge costs for people in low-income countries; commitment to closing the gap on climate emissions to keep global temperatures below a rise of 1.5 degrees; and progress on climate finance for adaptation which is essential to support countries least responsible for creating the climate change problem, but who suffer the worst of its impacts including sea level rises, floods and droughts.”  

Chair of Trócaire Bishop William Crean said the needs in east Africa "are increasing every day".

"The reality is that the vulnerable communities in developing countries who have contributed least to climate change are impacted most.” 

Bishop Crean said the effects of climate change had been compounded by Covid-19.

"In the countries where Trócaire works, less than 5% of people have been vaccinated and infection rates are up to 50%. An additional 200 million people have fallen into poverty globally because of the Covid-19 crisis. Wealthier countries, while protecting their most vulnerable citizens, also have a moral responsibility to ensure that the populations of developing countries have equal, rapid and effective access to Covid-19 vaccine coverage,” he added.

You can also donate to the appeal at www.trocaire.org

Read more: 

Trócaire has been distributing vital aid in Somalia where drought and Covid-19 are taking their toll

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