Washington, DC - As the Horn of Africa is experiencing the worst drought in 60 years some 13 million people in that region face the prospect of starvation .
Because of this cataclysmic turn of events, the Catholic Church globally and within the U.S. has been reaching out to its donors over the past month to help feed and provide water to thousands of desperate refugees arriving at UN camps in Kenya, and Ethiopia.
In late August, the U.S. bishops began a national appeal through Catholic parishes in America in behalf of the needs of refugees in East Africa.
The proceeds from this appeal, now estimated to be about thirty five million dollars, will be used by Catholic Relief Services to support its present efforts to aid victims of the East African drought.
Presently CRS is working to establish a new refugee camp in Kenya. The camp, Kambioss, is adjacent to the UN’s Dadaab camp which is now supporting a population of over four hundred thousand displaced persons. One hundred and fifty thousand of these refugees are children.
In Kambioss, CRS will furnish water stations and shower stalls and build shelters among other services.
The CRS program emphasis in both Kenya and Ethiopia is to help develop water sources for the refugees and assist them in meeting daily hygiene needs.
The threat of cholera outbreaks is always high when access to clean water is limited.
In Ethiopia where thousands of Somali have sought refuge CRS well drilling, food programs and agricultural assistance. It is also working in partnership with the Missionaries of Charity at thirteen sites offering a range of services from nutrition to health care.
“ We are encouraged to learn that many Catholic donors are once again responding generously to an urgent situation of human suffering” said FADICA’s president, Francis J. Butler, “ it is evident that these donors see themselves as partners in the work of bringing hope and God’s love to the human family”, he said.
Donations may be sent directly to Catholic Relief Services:
Catholic Relief Services
Memo: East Africa Emergency Fund
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090