Caritas raises $50,000 for Africa

The Caritas Horn and East Africa appeal which aims to help millions in the worst drought for 60 years has so far raised close to $50,000 in just over a week.

Caritas Director Mike Smith said a concerted effort is being made by Caritas members around the world to raise funds and direct aid to the places of greatest need.

Over 10 million people, half of whom are children, face starvation in the worst drought in 60 years. The situation is exacerbated by conflict, rising food prices and plummeting livestock values.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is working primarily through Trocaire (Caritas Ireland) and their Horn and East Africa Regional Office, as part of a coordinated Caritas response across Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Trocaire in conjunction with its local partners aims to provide immediate life-sustaining help for 18,000 drought-affected households across six districts in western Kenya. ‘Plans to provide basic food and water for four months will help ensure the people’s survival and prevent erosion of assets,’ says Mr Smith.

In addition, 4,500 pastoral-based households will have their livestock bought for cash. This will relieve the pressure on natural resources and provide an income source for the families. The livestock will be relocated to areas that still have grazing. These herds are planned to be restored to their original owners in four months time after expected short rains.

Affected communities will also be involved in rehabilitating waterholes, harvesting and regeneration of pastures. Drought-resistant seeds will be provided to make the most of the short rains in October. The development of community assets such as water dams will help provide resilience for the future.

Mr Smith welcomes the New Zealand government’s $3 million towards alleviating the crisis, and its decision to allocate $1 million of that through New Zealand aid agencies responding to this crisis. Caritas is applying for up to $250,000 of these funds.

‘The gravity of the situation requires a huge response from the international community, as well as measures to address the underlying situations that have led to this crisis,’ said Mr Smith. ‘We are quietly confident that New Zealanders will respond generously to this humanitarian crisis.’

Donations to Caritas can be made by:

  • Phoning 0900 4 11 11 to make an automatic $20 donation from your phone account
  • Phoning 0800 22 10 22 to make credit card donations or
  • Donating online using a credit card at
  • Posting to Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144, New Zealand.
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