Special collections will take place at all masses across Co. Tipperary next weekend (July 22/23) as part of a national appeal 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.
The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has called for a national church collection to support Trócaire’s work in the region. 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.
Tipperary's Colm Hogan, who works with Trócaire, urged people to get behind the appeal and support the agency’s efforts to save lives in the affected areas.
“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,” he said. “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.
“What we are 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. Tipperary. I would urge parishioners to please give what they can to the church collection.”
To make a donation or to find out more about Trócaire’s response to the food crisis visit www.trocaire.org or phone 1850 408 408.