Interview with Shiferaw Mamo, Social Development Programme Coordinator of the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (Caritas Ethiopia).
The drought and food crisis in summer 2011 affected millions in the Horn of Africa. How did Caritas Ethiopia help them?
The situation in 2011 was very critical. Thanks to the Caritas member organisations who supported us, our programmes have saved lives. Supplementary food has been distributed for some malnourished children in some pocket areas through Catholic health institutions and this contributed to save lives of this children.
Also, people didn’t lose their assets. Many people are herders here. In places like the Rift Valley where their oxen died from the drought, we replaced them: we provided sheep, goats and oxen. We gave out almost 9000 chickens and more than 13,000 goats. If we hadn’t done that, they might have sold all their animals to buy food.
People received money through our “cash for work” programmes, building rural […]
“Don’t cry Adrjiera,” said Momeye to her baby girl. “Don’t suckle so hard. My breast milk is finished as I too must eat.” The 20-year-old mother arrived a day ago in this feeding centre in Saga, a suburb of Niger’s capital Niamey.
Her daughter suffers from severe acute malnutrition, a life threatening condition requiring urgent treatment. Without therapeutic feeding, between a third and a half of cases for under-fives end in death. If the children get the help they need, their chances of survival go up dramatically.
Children and mothers receive the necessary care at the centre, run by the Sisters of Charity with the support of CADEV, the national Caritas organisation in Niger. They regain their strength and are integrated in a regular programme to monitor their health.
At the moment, eight mothers with children in acute danger are hospitalised in the centre. Thirty more less severe cases wait in the […]
“Today is a day of hope,” said Haman Abdou. “With the help of Caritas, I know I’ll have enough to sow my field as soon as the rain begins to fall.”
Haman Abdou is a local farmer living in the Ouallam region, 160 km north of Niamey, Niger’s capital. He is one of the many people who will receive free seeds at a Caritas supported ‘seed fair’ in Koira Bano, a village in the area. It is part of the emergency response launched by Caritas for West African countries in the Sahel region.
“The last harvest was very poor,” he said. “With erratic rainfall and locusts, I have produced almost nothing. I have struggled for months to find enough food for my family. It has been impossible to save seed for the next farming season under these conditions. The seed fair is a blessing for us.”
Local Caritas Emergency Officer Prospère Yougare […]
The film is also available in French and Spanish
By Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, Head of Caritas Internationalis Delegation to the UN in Geneva On 02 July 2012, Floriana Polito and I had the pleasure of convening some influential figures in the fight against hunger and poverty. Caritas Internationalis, together with Oxfam, held an important side event focused on human rights in the context of the food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa; it was held at the Palais des Nations in conjunction with the 20th Session of the UN Human Rights.
Caritas is hosting a congress on Global Hunger and Sustainable Food Security – 1st and 2nd of June 2012 in Vienna
Live stream from the Future without Hunger Conference. Cardinal Rodriguez about to speak. | Read the key note speech by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga (pdf)
925 million people worldwide are starving. Every 12 seconds, a child dies of hunger. Hunger is not a natural event; it has social, economic and political causes. It is a global tragedy, more so because it is avoidable.
Through this congress, Caritas is uniting people to start fighting together against hunger. The event will gather public authorities and decision-makers, academics, journalists and civil society representatives from the whole world.
It will discuss all the challenges to food security today, such as the chronic causes of global hunger, global agricultural trade, armed conflicts, the effectiveness of development aid, food price speculation, land grabbing and agro-fuel policies, climate change, food waste, sustainable lifestyles […]
By Richard Clemence, special correspondent to Secours Catholique (Caritas France)
“My field of millet was devastated by drought last season. I could only raise a few pounds, while normally I produce several hundred,” said Francois Merega, an old farmer in north-western Burkina Faso. Sitting in the courtyard of his house, the man describes his family’s precarious situation.
In front of the house stands the family’s granary. Since February, it has been hopelessly empty. “The last harvest was not enough to feed the fourteen members of my family over four months,” said Merega. “So we’ve been forced to buy food at the market.” But in these difficult times, markets are also running short of grain. Where grain is available, the prices are too high for the country’s small farmers, who make up over 80 percent of the population.
The price of fifteen kilograms of millet has doubled in just a few months. “That […]
As Abraham Lincoln put it, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.” With that in mind, delegates of 20 Caritas members from around the world joined staff from Caritas regional offices and the Caritas Internationalis Secretariat in Rome this week to prepare for a year+ joint anti-poverty advocacy campaign in 2013. Over three days, participants talked about what needs to be in place to make the camapign a success so that it has a real impact on the lives of the poor. Hopes are the campaign will be a cornerstone in Caritas Internationalis members four year strategic plan, approved during their General Assembly in May. “The meeting was a good place to exchange ideas,” said Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Director of Policy and Advocacy. “People brought their passion and their regional and national perspectives. It was a stimulating taste of the […]
What is the humanitarian situation in West Africa’s Sahel region?
More than 12 million people will face acute food shortages in the Sahel region of West Africa unless early and effective action is taken now to prevent the crisis.
People in Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad are already suffering from a lack of food with the ‘lean’ season still to come. In the worst affected areas, people have already started to ration food to one meal a day, sell off cattle or leave their farms for urban centres.
We must not wait until there are images of starving children on our TV screens. By acting now we can ensure the food crisis does not deteriorate.
What has led to a food crisis in West Africa?
Poor rains and drought last year and pest infestation means this year’s harvest will not produce enough food. A spike in regional food prices has left people […]
À l’est du Tchad, des milliers de réfugiés soudanais et de Tchadiens se battent pour survivre, aux côtés du Secadev (Secours Catholique et Développement – Caritas N’Djamena). Les résultats obtenus pour tendre le filet de sécurité alimentaire, tout en protégeant l’environnement, sont encourageants.
Les impulsions données par notre partenaire sont déterminantes pour le proche avenir de civils en péril depuis huit ans, sur fond d’impasse politique. Le projet qu’il porte depuis 2009 comporte trois axes principaux : agriculture, élevage et environnement.
Agriculture : priorité à l’accès aux terres cultivables, à l’approvisionnement en semences et en outils, aux formations techniques, à l’installation de greniers communautaires.
Élevage : priorité à la vaccination du bétail, à la formation des éleveurs aux techniques d’alimentation de celui-ci et à celle des auxiliaires.
Environnement : reboisement, création de comités spécialisés dans les villages, distribution de foyers améliorés métalliques, emploi de déchets organiques pour éviter de consommer du bois…
Les paysans […]
By Helen Blakesley “It takes a trained eye to see when someone is poorer than poor in Niger. People are living in a harsh environment, it’s a semi-desert, many households can seem badly off at the best of times. But this year, I noticed a change,” said Jean-Marie Adrian, Catholic Relief Services regional director for West Africa (CRS is a Caritas member working in Niger with partners such as Caritas Niger/CADEV). “A very simple thing struck me. Usually, during the dry season, people weave straw together to make new granaries or they repair the holes in their old ones. But as I drove past villages this time, I saw very few of these new circular constructions. Many had collapsed, with no effort to repair them … because there had been no harvest that needed storing”.
Caritas Niger (CadevNiger) publie cette semaine des articles sur la crise alimentaire qui touche certaines zones du pays. Nous sommes dans le village de Sarkin Toudou Araga dans la commune rurale d’Ajékoria au Niger. C’est un village calme de 548 habitants. Ici, grâce au Projet Participatif et Décentralisé de Sécurité Alimentaire dans les Communes de Birnin Lalé et Adjekoria (PDSA/BA) la crise alimentaire soulève moins d’inquiétude. Le projet qui a démarré en avril 2008 est le fruit de la collaboration entre la Caritas Développement Niger (Cadev Niger) et la Caritas International Belgique. Son objectif est d’améliorer la situation alimentaire des populations et leurs conditions de vie.