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.
Nick Harrop is a writer for Cafod (Caritas England and Wales). He has just return from a mission in Niger and give his first impression on the food crisis growing up in the country. During the last few days, I’ve had the chance to ask several people in Niger how this year’s food crisis compares with previous ones. They’ve all said the same thing: it’s the worst one they can remember. Mintou, a grandmother living in a village about three hours’ drive from the capital, said: “There was one year when it was very bad, which we call ‘kantchakalague’. Maybe we can compare this year that that one. But I think this year is worse.” “Does ‘kantchakalgue’ mean famine?” I asked Tchadi from our partner CADEV (Caritas Niger), who was translating. “No, not famine,” he said. “Literally, it means tiredness, thinness, a time when people are thin and animals are […]
Zaki can’t afford to feed his family this year. He’s a young teacher in Burkina Faso. It’s one of a string of West African countries where food is getting scarce. The price of corn has increased so much Zaki can’t afford to buy it. His family must rely on their reserves of rice, but supplies dwindle each day.
Dassala and his family are hanging in for the moment. He is an elderly man, too old to provide for his family. His wife’s business isn’t looking so good. So they must rely on their son, an apprentice mechanic, to provide food. But it’s not enough, especially if food prices continue to rise.
“Thousands of families no longer know where to turn,” says Flavien Batiano of OCADES-Caritas Burkina Faso. “When food prices go up, people cope by migrating, selling livestock cheaply, turning to risky things like gold mining or fighting over grazing land […]
While Caritas and other aid agencies have helped millions of East Africans through the worst of the region’s food crisis, more remains to be done. Susan Hodges of Vatican Radio interviews Caritas’ Laura Sheahen about her visit to Caritas projects in Kenya–and about the ongoing impact of the 2011 drought. Listen to the interview
Après la Corne de l’Afrique, c’est la région du Sahel qui est à nouveau confrontée à une crise alimentaire croissante. En 2010, 10 millions de personnes avaient déjà été affectées par une grave crise alimentaire. Cette année, on note des baisses importantes des productions agropastorales dans certaines zones du Sahel. Alors que les prix alimentaires sont élevés, cette situation compromet fortement l’accès à la nourriture des ménages les plus pauvres.
Caritas Internationalis suit de près la situation avec le Groupe de Travail sur le Sahel. L’objectif est d’établir une stratégie commune d’intervention susceptible d’orienter le travail de tous les membres de la confédération impliqués dans la région.
Des évaluations approfondies des besoins sont en cours dans les différents pays de la région. Caritas Internationalis est en communication constante avec Caritas Niger, Caritas Mali et Caritas Burkina Faso les trois pays les plus exposés à la crise. Le travail a donc déjà […]
“Mothers said their children were too weak to walk to the clinic,” says a nurse who treated malnourished people in northern Kenya during the worst of 2011’s drought. Throughout East Africa, poor rains led to hunger on a massive scale.
By late 2011, your gifts had turned things around. Caritas immediately distributed emergency food, but also set up long-term projects that help villagers capture water and raise food even in drought times. Explore this gallery of photos from Kenya to see how you helped.
Photos by Laura Sheahen/Caritas
The food crisis in East Africa hit the headlines over the summer. Resources were mobilised around the world to support communities in need as drought in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia put millions of people in peril. Val Morgan of SCIAF (Caritas Scotland) reports from southern Ethiopia that although the news attention may have moved on, the suffering remains. By Val Morgan What it is like to be hungry and facing a slow death by starvation? What it is like to see our family’s assets disappear, our children lose weight and our spouse join us in worrying how bad the future might just get? In early October 2011, I was brought a bit closer to these realities when I visited southern Ethiopia. The situation is truly desperate. People are going hungry, cattle are dying in large numbers, water sources and grazing land have all but disappeared, and the people don’t know […]
By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Policy Director I listened to Didi Bridgewater, walked past Claudia Cardinale, stood next to Jeremy Irons, saw Carl Lewis and took the elevator with Carla Fracci. What do you want more for a day? But where is the connection to food? All these celebrities are good-will ambassadors for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). They were calling for a greater commitment in the fight against hunger at a meeting to mark World Food Day today in Rome. Government representatives and NGO’s were gathered in the plenary hall at the FAO offices in Rome and along with the directors of FAO and the other UN food agencies WFP and IFAD. The message from Pope Benedict XVI was delivered by Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to FAO: “Many of our brothers and sisters do not have daily bread. The freedom from the […]
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters.” It’s a phrase known to Christians around the world, one of the most beloved verses of a beloved psalm. It was the psalm Pope Benedict XVI referred to during his weekly audience Wednesday 5 October which ended with an appeal to the world not to forget East Africa, where drought has turn green pastures brown and made water scarce. Crops have failed; herdsmen have watched their goats and cattle grow thinner and die. Tens of thousands of families walked for weeks to reach refugee camps, or anywhere with water.
by Fr Simeon Lee, Executive Director of Caritas (South)Korea
I’m visiting North Korea to follow up on 100 tonnes of flour we delivered at the end of July and to talk with our North Korean counterparts. The flour is currently being distributed to nurseries and hospitals in Gangnam County in North Hwanghae. While it isn’t a lot compared to the need, we expect that this food assistance will give hope to the children and the sick. We hope that our heartfelt support can console people and make them understand that someone is accompanying them.
The money for the flour was raised at a “Mass for Peace” in Imjingak, South Korea, in June. The event was organised by the Committee for National Reconciliation and Caritas Korea was very involved in the process. Afterwards we received the funds collected during the Mass.
Caritas Korea focuses its work mainly of food assistance but in May […]
By David Snyder
His thinning white hair dyed orange in the traditional local style, Aden Esse Kan stands amid the swirling dust clouds of eastern Ethiopia, eager to talk about the drought that now plagues this region.
An elder in the village of Togo Wuchale, a dusty half hour drive from the town of Jijiga, Kan summarises the problems facing his community, “The drought affects us in two ways – our people and our livestock,” Kan said. “There is no rain at all so we don’t have anything to eat.”
Today across much of Ethiopia, where as many as 11 million people are in need of food aid, that is a distressingly common refrain. For traditional pastoralists like those from the Jijiga region, just sixty kilometers from the border with Somalia, the drought has devastated local grazing land, forcing many in the village of Togo Wuchale to drive their thinning herds further […]