The Summer 2022 General meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference concluded yesterday in Maynooth. At the meeting, Trócaire advised bishops of the devastating impact that climate change is having on the countries in which it works, with the Horn of Africa facing its fourth consecutive year of drought. In Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia one person is likely to die from hunger every 48 seconds, while approximately 5.7 million children are acutely malnourished. The United Nations warns that 350,000 children could die by the autumn unless action is taken.
The threat of famine is due to the continual failure to address the lethal combination of climate change, conflict and the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, which have left the region in extreme crisis. This has been exacerbated by the disruption of the global economy and food systems as a result of war in Ukraine, with fuel and food prices spiralling. Bishops call on Government, and the international community, to act immediately to end this hunger crisis, which may be achievable if a concerted effort is made now.