03 August 2011
Sydney 3 August, 2011 – Jesuit Mission and JRS Australia have pledged their support for a famine appeal launched by the Jesuit Province of East Africa and JRS East Africa. The Eastern Africa Province’s Famine Relief Project hopes to raise desperately needed funds to assist the victims of a famine that has been triggered by the worst drought in half a century in the Horn of Africa.
In an appeal letter the Provincial of East Africa, Fr Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator SJ and the Director of JRS East Africa, Fr Frido Pflüger SJ, said that the famine is threatening the lives of more than 10 million people in a region already beset with displacement. They have labelled it a "humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportion."
"(It) has triggered a mass movement of people in the region, especially from Somalia to Kenya and Ethiopia. Years of conflict and sporadic droughts have displaced nearly two million Somalis and the figures are rising quickly. By 20 July this year, more than 120,000 Somalis had fled into Kenya and Ethiopia. This month as many as 3,000 have been arriving daily into the two countries."
Fr Orobator and Fr Pflüger say that if action isn’t taken immediately, the famine will spread to the rest of southern Somalia.
"We realise that the scope of this crisis far outweighs our local human and financial resources, but inaction is not an option at this time. Our hope is that this [fundraising] initiative will make a small but meaningful difference in the race to save the lives of innocent victims of this humanitarian crisis."
The Eastern Africa Province’s Famine Relief Project will provide relief materials for a targeted group of the most vulnerable persons in collaboration with religious congregations and dioceses in some of the worst hit areas of northern Kenya. Relief food items such as maize, beans, millet, sorghum, soya, cooking oil and nutrifit will be purchased and distributed to families in these areas through a network of parishes and schools.
To read more or to make a direct donation, click here.
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