Trócaire church collections for East Africa

20 Jul 2011

Mrs Mary Robinson and Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trócaire with Sangaboo Dahir Abdiahman with 13 month old Issack. Issack is severely malnourished, they arrived at the Dollow Health centre seeking nutritional and medical assistance. He has been talking plumpynut for two weeks but had continued to lose weight as the family were sharing the food.

Church collections for east Africa this weekend as UN declares famine

The UN today (20 July) declared a famine in parts of Somalia and with 13 million people in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia now at risk of starvation, collections will be held in  parishes across Ireland this weekend, 23  and 24 July, for Trócaire’s emergency appeal for the region.

Trócaire’s director, Justin Kilcullen, has been visiting some of the worst affected areas in east Africa this week and has appealed for parishioners to give what they can this weekend.

“The UN has declared a famine in some areas of Somalia. The word famine is emotive and is not used often. It means that one third of children are malnourished and four out of every 10,000 children are dying every day. For the UN to use this gravest of classifications shows how desperate this crisis is,” said Mr Kilcullen.

“I visited Somalia this week where I saw a Trócaire health and feeding programme. In the Gedo region, Trócaire is the only provider of healthcare for 200,000 people. In a country where one third of the population is now facing starvation I have no doubt that this programme, funded by the Irish people, is saving lives,” said Mr. Kilcullen.

“Trócaire started working inSomalia1992 when people were facing a famine. It is heart-breaking that people here are facing the same threat nearly 20 years on. The situation inSomaliais deteriorating by the day, with over 2.8 million people in need of emergency aid. Over half a million children under the age of five are in immediate danger of starvation.

“The situation in parts of Kenya and Ethiopia is also absolutely grim. In some of the areas where Trócaire is working there has been no rain for over a year. This weekend, as the situation continues to deteriorate, the Catholic Church is asking people to give what they can through their local church collection so that we can try to avert this disaster. Trócaire, as the overseas development agency of the Church inIreland, has been working with some communities in the region for nearly forty years and we can reach the people who need help the most.

“Our short term priority is to save lives by providing emergency food and water to the most vulnerable families but we will be working with communities in the longer term to ensure that they are able to feed themselves, sustain their livestock and become less vulnerable to disasters like this in the future,” Mr. Kilcullen concluded.

To find out more about Trócaire’s response to the crisis visit www.Tró or call 1850 408 408.


For media enquiries please contact David O’Hare, Press Officer, Trócaire on 0044 7900053884.


David O’Hare

Press Officer | Trócaire
Office: 028 9080 8030
Mobile: 079 0005 3884