July 4, 2012

A last line of defence against child malnutrition in Niger

By |4 July 2012|

“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 [...]

Niger fights off food crisis

By |4 July 2012|

"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 [...]

Niger: On the hunger frontline

By |4 July 2012|

The film is also available in French and Spanish

The food crisis in Sahel: how do we prevent the next one?

By |3 July 2012|

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.

June 22, 2012

Rio+20: conference reflections

By |22 June 2012|

By James Stella On entering the Rio+20 Conference centre, the participants are instantly greeted by an enormous blue coloured digital billboard displaying the extensive list of side events scheduled for the day. Listed on the board one will find the name, location and time of the event. With events scheduled around the clock, from 9:00 in the morning to 8:00 in the evening, there are approximately 55 side events everyday with each having a duration of one and half hours. Some of the wide array of topics include, ‘Glaciers and Sustainability in the Anthropocen’ by CEDHA, ‘Motorcycle Safety al Rio+20′ by Ecuadorian Motorcyclists Association; ‘The Forest Green Economy and South-South Cooperation’ by WWF International and an event presented by a Palestinian organisation that focused on sustainable development under the Israel occupation.

Chad’s women gardeners

By |14 June 2012|

The village of Chawir is located in Canton Migami, south-central Chad (West Africa). Like almost everywhere in the area, the locals are almost exclusively women and children. Of the 2,760 inhabitants of Chawir, only 120 are adult men.

Caritas at Rio + 20

By |12 June 2012|

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June is expected to represent a new stage in the political process that began back of 1972. Ever since the UN Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, political leaders have been discussing how to reconcile human development needs with environmental protection. The UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio in 1992, declared “Human beings are the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”. Its programme of action, “Agenda 21” identified sustainable development as a strategy based on the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars. Twenty years later, world leaders and tens of thousands of representatives of the private sector and civil society will gather again in Rio to rethink how to reduce poverty and achieve greater social equity and environmental protection. The [...]

Let’s take the bread and share it

By |4 June 2012|

By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Policy and Advocacy Director I start with a loaf of bread: Our daily bread. We need to share it and more importantly provide people the seeds, knowledge and resources to grow it in an often hostile environment. At Mass following the opening day of the Future without Hunger Congress in Vienna, we were reminded by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez that we should be bringing light to people. This light might be still small but if enough people share it, it will become bright.

Un avenir libéré de la faim n’est pas une utopie

By |1 June 2012|

Par Ryan Worms « La faim dans le monde n’est pas une fatalité, c’est une tragédie qui pourrait être évitée. » Par ces mots, le cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, président de Caritas Internationalis, a mis de l’avant le constat qui mobilise les participants du Congrès sur la faim dans le monde et la sécurité alimentaire durable, organisé par Caritas Autriche, Caritas Internationalis et Caritas Europe et qui s’est ouvert aujourd’hui à Vienne. Trente-cinq experts de plus de 20 pays sont venus mettre en commun leur expertise sur les causes structurelles de la faim dans le monde et débattre avec 700 délégués en provenance de différentes Caritas, d’organisations de la société civile, de gouvernements et d’institutions internationales. L’objectif de Caritas est de définir les actions à mettre en œuvre pour construire un futur libéré de la faim et dans lequel le droit à l’alimentation soit pleinement respecté.

May 31, 2012

Scottish climate fund shows the way forward

By |31 May 2012|

The announcement today of the Scottish Government's Climate Justice Fund has been welcomed by international development and environmental organisations in Scotland. The fund was launched by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, alongside former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. SCIAF, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, a member of the global Caritas Internationalis network of Catholic development agencies, is among the groups welcoming the news. The new fund to help people living in some of the world's poorest countries affected by the changing climate, such as more frequent and severe droughts and floods, has cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament. The Climate Justice Fund will be a good example to bring to the Rio+20 summit in June of how the rich world can face up to its historic responsibility for climate change and its substantial negative impact on many of the world’s poorest people. Philippa Bonella, Head of Communications and Education at SCIAF, said, [...]

Future without Hunger – Congress on Global Hunger

By |15 May 2012|

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 [...]

April 26, 2012

Hunger threatens families in Burkina Faso

By |26 April 2012|

The price of fifteen kilograms of millet has doubled in just a few months. "That much millet would feed my family for two days. Imagine what I have to pay each week to provide three meals for my children and grandchildren,” said Merega.

Caritas advocacy experts plan for global campaign

By |20 April 2012|

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 […]

March 28, 2012

West Africa’s food crisis at a glance

By |28 March 2012|

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 [...]

Helping Niger prepare for food crisis

By |27 March 2012|

The crisis is threatening the Sahel region of Africa—the band of land below the Sahara desert, extending from Senegal to Chad. In a normal year, the Sahel receives on average as little as 78 to 236 inches of rain. Last year’s rains were poor and the harvests bad or non-existent.

Support Caritas