The Bishops’ Appeal Committee of the Church of Ireland has announced that it is providing emergency funding of €10,000 to the current food crisis in Niger, West Africa and a further €10,000 to help with relief efforts and the rescue programme in the flood-affected regions of Pakistan.
Christian Aid has reported that in Niger more than seven million people – half the country’s population – risks going hungry due to a combination of drought and irregular harvests which have seriously reduced food production with disastrous results. The Bishops’ Appeal funding will be channeled through Christian Aid and its established humanitarian partners in the country.
In Pakistan, the UN estimates that almost one million people have been affected by monsoon flooding, especially in the Khyber Pakhtunkwa province, where 800 people have died, 27,000 are stranded, many are missing, thousands of homes have been destroyed and vast areas of farmland blighted. The Diocese of Peshawar of the Church of Pakistan (a united ecumenical province of the Anglican Communion) is providing emergency relief to the most vulnerable, including Christians, Hindus and minority groups. The Bishops’ Appeal donation will go to this diocesan relief programme.
The Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, the Rt Rev Michael Burrows, Chair of the Bishops’ Appeal Committee said: “One of the great values of the Bishops’ Appeal is that we are always there throughout the year, ready to respond to instances of suffering and humanitarian need. Resources can be directed quickly to where they are most needed. Of course, the Appeal is happy to receive any further contributions and channel them to these crisis situations.