A COVENTRY Catholic charity has launched an emergency appeal in response to the devastating drought in Ethopia.
The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) is calling on Coventrians to donate to help more than 10 million people across the East African country who are in dire need of food, clean water and basic sanitation.
After two failed rainy seasons, the country is gripped by a severe drought and shortage of food – only made worse than this year’s El Nino weather patterns recorded.
And while CAFOD’s partners in Ethiopia have been responding to the crisis since last year, reaching people with emergency food assistance and clean water, the charity needs £3 million to scale up its emergency response in the four worst affected areas – SNNPR Region State, Oromia Regional State, Tigray and Afar Regional States.
Urgign Coventrians to did deep and support the appeal, CAFOD’s representative in the city, Elizabeth Wignall said: “Ethiopia faces a food shortage that has left millions without enough food to survive the months ahead.
“We’re already responding to the crisis through our local Ethiopian partners and we’re asking people here to support us and them so we can escalate our on-going emergency response.
“Our supporters here in Coventry have always been generous both in times of emergency and for our ongoing work. “Parishioners from St John Fisher in Coventry have supported Sebeya, a villiage in Ethiopia, for over five years.
“They are out fundraising and praying for the communities in Ethiopia.
“Because of this, we will be able to get more emergency aid to those who need it most.”
The epicentre of the drought has hit some of the poorest people in the country – families who rely heavily on subsistence farming, and who have now run out of options for feeding their families and animals.
Herit, who lives in the village of Arato just outside of Mekelle in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, has been supported by CAFOD and a local church in Ethiopia.
And thanks to help from the charity, she has been able to buy a family food basket in the local market – without which would see her and her family out of options.
Herit said: “If I did not get this assistance, I and my children would be dead here.
“Because I have been able to buy food, my children are living and we are surviving.”
While Ethiopia’s rains are due in a month’s time, it will take time for farmers to replenish their livestock and harvest their crops, so CAFOD are encouraging people to continue to donate generously to help families facing months more hunger.
Visit www.cafod.org.uk to find out more about the charity’s work in Ethiopia and to donate.