Caritas accepting donations for Niger's starving

Caritas Australia has advised that it is now accepting donations for the people of Niger in Western Africa who are suffering from severe food shortages.

The Australian Bishops' aid organisation said in a statement yesterday that more than three million people in Niger are experiencing starvation as a result of failed crops caused by a severe drought and locust plagues.

Caritas Australia's local partner on the ground in Niger, Caritas Niger, has been responding to this present crisis since November, 2004 and is now working tirelessly to distribute food aid to those most in need.

Caritas Niger is currently providing 1500 tonnes of food to more than 28,000 people in seven regions of Niger. 75 tonnes of seed are also being provided to plant crops.

Caritas Niger has established a food for work program in which those able to work can earn food for their families and distribute food to the most vulnerable. It is also providing seeds for planting and fodder for animals.

Most people do not have any savings to see them through a severe food shortage. The cost of food has increased dramatically and selling cattle for money is no longer an option as most animals are emaciated and worth very little. The situation is desperate.

Caritas Niger has a long history of working with local communities in Niger implementing both development and humanitarian programs. Caritas will be there before, during and after the headlines.

Caritas Australia Director Jack de Groot said: "Once again lives will be lost needlessly to hunger. It is completely unacceptable that people in the 21 st century cannot afford to eat everyday and it is a moral outrage that people should die of starvation due to the lack of a few million dollars."

"This waste of precious life is exactly what the Make Poverty History campaign is working to end forever."

To make a donation call 1800 024 413 or visit http://www.caritas.org.au to donate on-line.

Caritas accepting donations for the starving in Niger (Caritas Australia 26/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas Australia

CAFOD partners fight West Africa food crisis (CAFOD 25/7/05)
Suffer the children (Eureka Street July-August 2005)

27 Jul 2005