Catholic Relief Services is launching a special appeal to deal with the escalating famine crisis in the Horn of Africa. The agnecy released a press release today that includes a request from U.S.C.C.B. president and N.Y. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, chairman of the Board of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to their brother bishops to encourage pastors and parishioners to support emergency relief efforts in the Horn of Africa, possibly by taking up a second collection at Sunday Masses.
“Every day we are seeing more and more heartbreaking news about the drought and famine in Somalia and the eastern parts of Africa. We see millions of people being forced from their homes, leaving behind what meager possessions they had, and walking for days over rough terrain,” wrote Archbishop Dolan and Bishop Kicanas.
“There are parents whose little children have died, and children who have been orphaned. They are suffering from hunger, thirst, disease, and drought,” they said. “It is a humanitarian crisis that cries out for help to Christians throughout the world. The Holy Father, on several occasions, has asked Catholics to respond generously to the desperate needs of our brothers and sisters in East Africa.”
According to the release: "More than 12 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia because of what many are calling the worst drought in decades. This severe lack of rainfall has resulted in failed crops, deaths of livestock and critical shortages in food and water."
In Ethiopia, CRS is expanding its food distribution program to 1.1 million people and is working closely with local partners to provide livelihood support, water and sanitation. In Somalia, CRS is supporting local partners to assist highly vulnerable, displaced families with basic necessities, such as food packages, support to clinics, therapeutic feeding and shelter. In Kenya, CRS is working both to assist newly-arrived refugees with hygiene, sanitation promotion and protection, and also to provide water, sanitation and supplemental feeding to drought-affected Kenyan communities.
How to Help
Donate by Phone: Call 1-800-736-3467 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
Donate by Mail:
Mail your check or money order to:
Catholic Relief Services
Memo: East Africa Emergency Fund
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090
Donate Online: http://www.crs.org/kenya/kenya-refugee-camp-expands-daily/