People receive bags of relief grains at a camp for the internally displaced people in Adadle, Ethiopia, Jan. 22, 2022. CNS photo/Claire Nevill, World Food Program handout via Reuters

Development and Peace targeting hunger with matching fund

By 
  • July 13, 2022

In a hungry world, Development and Peace is giving Canadian Catholics a chance to save lives. Using its partnership with Canadian Food Grains Bank, Canada’s Catholic development agency is taking advantage of an Ottawa matching fund to get money and the food it can buy to starving people.

But there’s a deadline. The government of Canada’s $5-million matching fund for food security in sub-Saharan Africa expires on July 17.

“We are doing and will do our part to ensure that no one — children, seniors, men and women — goes hungry,” Development and Peace-Caritas Canada director of international programs Stéphan Vinhas said in a release.

Ten per cent of the world’s population goes to bed hungry, but of that 800 million there’s a subset of 50 million who are on the edge of famine — up from a mere 27 million in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

If COVID made the global food situation bad, the war in Ukraine has made it worse, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, where local markets have relied on the supply of grains and food oil from Ukraine. 

On top of COVID and Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Horn of Africa — including Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya — are into their fourth year of drought and failed crops.

Development and Peace is hearing about the climate-induced disaster from its partners in Africa.

“Our main request is having food and water,” Somali mother of five Fartun Abdullahi told aid workers in the Kabasa camp for internally displaced people. “We do not have enough food for the children. I left Galkayo for Dolow with the expectation of getting food, but there is no food.”

Development and Peace’s focus isn’t just on the immediate crisis Abdullahi and her family faces.

“As always, we will bring food to those who need it,” said Vinhas. “But we see it as equally urgent to address the causes of global hunger, which is not inevitable.”

Hunger and drought are a major concern of Pope Francis. #Drought is a serious problem. It should make us reflect on the care of #creation, which is not a fad, it is everyone's responsibility. The future of the Earth is in our hands,” @Pontifex tweeted on June 29.

“We produce enough food for all people, but many go without their daily bread,” Francis told the 2021 UN Food System Summit in a pre-summit message. “This constitutes a genuine scandal, an offence that violates basic human rights. Therefore, it is everyone’s duty to eliminate this injustice through concrete actions and good practices, and through bold local and international policies.”

Between now and July 17, $10, $20, $100 sent to Development and Peace for hunger in Africa becomes $20, $40 or $200. The online giving system can be found at: https://www.devp.org/en/blog/hunger-crisis-in-sub-saharan-africa/.

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