During the Winter General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Maynooth, Bishops expressed concern that the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa is deepening, with ongoing drought and conflict tipping the region into a potential disaster. Trócaire continues to support hundreds of thousands of people who are in dire need living in Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan. With crops failing and livestock dying, the number in urgent need of help in the Horn of Africa is growing. This figure was around 13 million at the start of the year, but UN agencies estimate this number to be now around 21 million. In Gedo Region in southern Somalia, Trócaire is supporting more than 20,000 people a month, and it is reporting that more international aid is needed as people, including children, are dying from malnutrition. Famine may be declared in parts of Somalia in the coming weeks. The main driver of the crisis is climate change, compounded by conflict, rising food and fuel prices due to the war in Ukraine and the after effects of Covid-19.
Trocáire’s 2022 ‘Christmas Gifts of Love’ to support communities in crisis
Bishops expressed their gratitude to everyone across the island for their purchase of more than one million life-changing ‘Gifts of Love’ since they were launched by Trócaire in 2000. Bishops stated, “This year the number of gifts sold since the year 2,000 has passed the one million mark, an incredible milestone and testament to the extraordinary generosity of the people of Ireland. The ‘Gifts of Love’ remain hugely popular with Trócaire supporters amidst all of the consumerism and spending associated with Christmas, and the gifts give people an opportunity to buy a meaningful present from as little as €5 that will change the life of somebody in dire need.”
For Christmas 2022, the ‘Gifts of Love’ collection includes two new gifts:
- the Gift of Winter Essentials (€25) to support Syrian families forced to flee their homes to refugee camps in neighbouring Lebanon; and,
- the Family Food Basket (€35) which provides basic food essentials and high nutrient food for malnourished children facing catastrophic hunger in the Horn of Africa due to the ongoing drought.
The broad range of gifts also include dignity packs to help young girls out of period poverty (€10) and mental health support for women and children traumatised by the ongoing conflict in Gaza (€50). Gifts can be purchased on trocaire.org/gifts or by calling 1800 408 408 in the Republic and for Northern Ireland 0800 912 1200.