(June 7, 2017) The Archdiocese of Toronto joins the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and faith communities across Canada in launching a joint appeal, entitled Pray-Give-Speak Out, in response to the desperate food crisis in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia.
The United Nations has confirmed that South Sudan has 100,000 people living in famine conditions. Reports suggest a total of 20 million people are on the brink of starvation in the region. A declaration of famine has not been made by UN agencies since July 2011 when some 260,000 people died in Somalia – half of them children under the age of five. The world must not let those horrors be repeated.
Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, commented on the launch of the Pray-Give-Speak Out appeal:
"It is heartening to see many faith communities across Canada coming together to mobilize support for those impacted by the ongoing famine in Africa. When we care for our brothers and sisters who are suffering, we live a faith that acts. My prayer is that we will learn more about the causes of this famine, pray for the sick and suffering and offer our financial support to shine a ray of hope through the darkness that so many are experiencing."
The joint appeal aims to engage the faithful in three ways:
Pray: Keeping the people of South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen in our prayers.
Give: Making a financial contribution to support those affected by the crisis.
Speak Out: Becoming better informed and to speak about the crisis with family, friends and neighbours. Contacting their local Members of Parliament about their concerns.
The CCCB has identified three Canadian Catholic agencies – Aid to the Church in Need, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, and the Canadian Jesuits International – as recipients of donations from the Catholic faithful. In response to this crisis, the Government of Canada has created a "Famine Relief Fund", indicating it will match every donation made between March 17 and June 30, 2017, by individuals to registered Canadian charities participating in this campaign.
Those wishing to help may do so in the following ways:
We offer our ongoing prayers for the victims of this humanitarian crisis.