Portlaoise Parish collection raises funds in aid of Trócaire’s East Africa appeal
Over 24 million people are facing malnutrition and the threat of famine across South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia due to prolonged drought. A collection in aid of Trócaire’s work in East Africa took place in parishes across Ireland on the weekend of 22-23 July 2017. €16,050 was raised in the Portlaoise Parish collection held on Sunday, July 23.
Trócaire is currently reaching over 150,000 people across the East Africa region with emergency food, water, sanitation and healthcare.
Half the population of Somalia (6.7 million people) are in need of emergency aid, including 3.7 million children.
Nearly 350,000 children under the age of five are severely malnourished.
The situation is a result of consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, coupled with ongoing conflict and displacement in some regions.
Three-quarters of all livestock animals have died.
Drought has also led to a lack of accessible clean water. 4.5 million people are in need of water, sanitation and hygiene support.
Because of difficulties with water supply, there have been cholera outbreaks across the country. Hundreds have lost their lives to this easily-treatable illness so far.
An average of 19,000 people are being treated at our health centres in Somalia each month.
Severe drought in northern Kenya has affected 3 million people who now require humanitarian assistance.
This number is expected to rise to 4 million by July 2017 according to government estimates.
Half a million children under-5 are severely malnourished and could die without emergency intervention.
In most affected areas water sources have dried up or is extremely hard to access.
An estimated 175,000 children have dropped out of school either due to lack of water and food in schools or because they are needed to assist their families in fetching water and herding livestock.
As part of our ongoing effort in Kenya, 13,000 children will receive supplementary high-energy food, and 6,000 families (approx 36,000 people) are being provided with drought-tolerant seeds.
We are also supplying five schools, three health units and five communities with water, as well as providing new boreholes for six communities.
7.5 million people in the country – over 50 per cent of the population – will need emergency aid to survive over the coming months.
The crisis has been compounded by conflict which has displaced millions and has severely disrupted crop planting.
7.7 million people in east and southern Ethiopia are facing starvation.
The number of people affected is expected to rise further in the second half of 2017. 9 million people will not have access to safe drinking water.
Small farmers are the worst affected. Up to 50% of livestock have died in areas where Trócaire works.
Drought affected families are employing extreme coping strategies to survive, including skipping meals, selling assets and migration or displacement of entire households.