In an urgent response to the persistent drought in East Africa, the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal has announced that it is releasing €20,000 to fund the work of Christian Aid and their local partners who are responding to the crisis on the ground in Kenya and Ethiopia. It also appeals for contributions from parishes and individuals throughout Ireland to help with the disaster relief efforts.

According to Christian Aid, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that the situation in East Africa is the worst food security crisis in the world today. Some parts of the East and the Horn of Africa are experiencing the driest conditions in 60 years. Drought in the countries affected, particularly Kenya and Ethiopia, has left 10 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

The funding released by Bishops’ Appeal will primarily be used for the provision of emergency tanks and the distribution of water to villages experiencing the worst of the drought conditions. The funds will also be directed towards families who are not being reached by the World Food Programme. Christian Aid is distributing food supplies to them with a special focus on malnourished children and pregnant women. The funding will also be used in the construction of extra water points to provide a longer term solution to the lack of water in the targeted villages. Bishops’ Appeal recognizes that in a time of crisis, everyone’s actions, from Parish collections to immediate action at the point of need, are all necessary links in the chain to deliver a successful and powerful response to alleviate the suffering of others.

Parish and individual donations are encouraged and greatly appreciated at this time. Dates for Parish responses can be chosen locally over the coming weeks and proceeds sent to: Bishops’ Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6.

For further information

Bishops’ Appeal Education Advisor, Lydia Monds or Clogher Diocesan Representative ( Precentor Noel Regan ) or to the Press Office: Janet Maxwell: (duty phone) +353 (0) 87 948 4412
Church of Ireland Press Office; Church of Ireland House; 61-67 Donegall Street

Belfast BT1 2QH

Tel: (028) 9082 8880 Fax (028) 9032 3554

Date: 14 July 2011