Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, providing assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. Bishop John Noonan has asked diocesan parishes to take up a second collection to support emergency relief efforts in the Horn of Africa the weekend of August 27 – 28.
The crisis in the Horn of Africa is intensifying, and extreme hunger is a harsh daily reality for more than 12 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti. A famine has been declared in parts of Somalia for the first time in decades. Kenya and Ethiopia are further burdened by an influx of refugees from Somalia, many making the harrowing journey across the border and into camps like the one in Dadaab, Kenya.
Sean Callahan, CRS’ executive vice president of overseas operations, visited the Dadaab camps in July and was particularly struck by the number of women and children among the 1,300 people who are arriving each day.
“Women are subjected to humiliation and violence during the passage to Dadaab refugee camp, and children suffer from lack of food and water,” he said.
How CRS is Helping
For decades, CRS has actively worked in Kenya and Ethiopia through programs that address agricultural and water needs. Reports from the field indicate that CRS’ efforts have helped ease the effects of drought in many communities.
In Ethiopia, CRS is leading a coalition of humanitarian groups that has more than doubled the size of its feeding program. It is now reaching more than 1 million people affected by the emergency.
In Kenya, Catholic Relief Services is working to get aid to many of the tens of thousands of famished Somalis who are pouring across the border. Through our many ongoing water, sanitation and agriculture projects, CRS is also responding to Kenyans’ needs during this crisis.
Working with partners, CRS has been able to get some aid into the stricken areas of Somalia and is assisting displaced families throughout the country with basic necessities.
To read more regarding our response to this pressing emergency, visit www.crs.org. See us on Facebook.
How you can help:
Please pray for the people of East Africa.
Donate to the East Africa Emergency Fund or call 877?Help?CRS (877?435?7277). Mail donations to: Catholic Relief Services, Attn: East Africa Emergency Fund, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203?7090.
Advocate: Please contact President Obama and your members of Congress and remind them not to cut programs that allow the US to respond in times of great human suffering.
Above photo by Laura Sheahen/Catholic Relief Services