Québec Press Conference — Interfaith Famine Relief campaign launch — June 7, 2017
Against the famine – #PrayGiveSpeakOut
Speech given by Marie-Claude Lalonde, National Director of Aid to the Church in Need
(Translated by Amanda Bridget Griffin)
”Aid to the Church in Need is proud to be participating in this collective and interfaith effort that follows the call for solidarity with Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen where famine has struck. We will do what we know how to do best; help on the ground. Though our organization is a pastoral charity, we never let our project partners down when they are hard hit. This time is no exception.
Of course, our charitable aid will not resolve the root problems. However, through our actions we will bring relief, as much as possible, to our brothers and sisters who are suffering from this horrible famine.
In order to declare a state of famine, (UN) people must already be dying. That is the case in South Sudan and the situation is more than worrying in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. It is one minute to midnight.
Last year, Aid to the Church in Need provided food assistance to the diocese of Malakal in South Sudan. The situation is not improving. We have already promised to help feed 20,000 displaced people, still from the same region. We need $140,000, and that is only short-term aid. We will have to do much more.
In the northeastern part of Nigeria, we have unfortunately been witness to regular sectarian conflicts and attacks by Boko Haram. The least of which we see in the media and therefor we have practically forgotten that it was about a few problems and that hunger has been threatening for some time already. For Nigeria, we need $150,000 to provide food assistance and seeds in order to restart agriculture. In this case, as well, we know that our intervention will have to be extended over a certain time period. These two fundraising campaigns will not cease at the end of June along with the Federal government’s program. We will continue as long as the needs are desperate.
In any case, we will provide pastoral support to people traversing this hardship as well as to the Church who is always active is easing the ambient misery, and this whatever the religion of the person who presents themselves to her.
Pray, Give, Speak-Out; the theme of the interfaith call made public today. Through our fundraising campaigns, we invite people to be generous in a financial way, but we are also appealing for their solidarity through prayer. Giving for the famine, praying for those who are suffering and for peace to return.
We are continuing our work of drawing the awareness of our current and potential benefactors and to the public in general as a response to the call to Speak-Out.
Thank you to all the interfaith communities who are joining in this great movement. Together, we can lighten the burden of men, women and children who at this very moment have empty stomachs.”
To GIVE via Aid to the Church in Need to the campaign
Pray, Give, Speak-Out, click here.