Over €150,000 has been received so far from 50 parishes in the Diocese of Meath in response to Trocaire’s special collection in aid of East Africa.
The appeal took place at all Masses across Ireland on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July, in support of people currently affected by devastating hunger crisis in East Africa. 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.
Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church, is currently delivering emergency food, water and health care to the 25 million people affected.
The director of Trocaire, Eamonn Meehan, spoke at Masses in the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar where the collection raised just over € 20,000 to date.
Church authorities and Trócaire will channel the collection towards those suffering as a consequence of the East Africa hunger crisis. The affected region has been compounded by the conflict in South Sudan and Somalia, with areas in both countries now on the verge of famine. In Somalia alone, 1.4 million children face life-threatening severe malnutrition this year.
The two most severely affected areas of Kenya are Kitui (East of Nairobi) and Turkana (North East Kenya, bordering Somalia). The first Bishop of Kitui was Bishop William Dunne from Delvin and the first Bishop of Lodwar (Turkana) was Bishop John Mahon of Killeigh-Tullamore. The Kiltegan priests have ministered in both dioceses while Irish Loreto sisters are present in South Sudan.