Trócaire assisted 2.5 million people in 27 of the poorest countries across the world last year thanks to the generous support of the Irish public.
The charity thanked people across the island of Ireland after the figures were released today in Trócaire’s Annual Report, which showed that the scale of the aid agency’s work in 2019/20, prior to the global outbreak of Covid-19.
Launching the report today, Trócaire warned of the long-term impact of Covid-19 in the developing world, where the poorest people have been plunged into further poverty due to the social and economic implications of the pandemic.
The financial year 2019/20 saw the public donate €23m to Trócaire – donations that change the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. Trócaire’s 2019 Lenten Appeal saw a 10 per cent increase in donations, resulting in €8.3m being contributed to the charity.
The charity supported people in 27 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. In terms of number of people supported, Trócaire’s largest programmes last year were in Ethiopia, Sudan and DR Congo.
The report also details how last year saw the charity respond to natural disasters and climatic shocks. Working through their partners, Trócaire provided shelter, food and other vital equipment to 39,000 people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe after the devastating impact of Cyclone Idai.
Of the 2.5 million people the organisation supported last year, 1.8 million people received humanitarian support, while an additional 700,000 people were supported through Trócaire’s long-term development work. This work includes agricultural support, women’s empowerment projects and support for human rights defenders.
Advocacy campaign progress included Trócaire’s call on the Irish and UK Governments to support a UN Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights, while the agency’s continued support for the Occupied Territories Bill has kept the issue to the fore of Irish political debate.
Additionally, Trócaire-funded legal support resulted in the release last year of indigenous Human Rights Defender Abelino Chub Caal, who spent two years wrongfully imprisoned in Guatemala.
Commenting on the newly released annual report, Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra, said:
“This report details of the positive impact our work has had in support of 2.5 million people and that figure is a testament to the commitment of the Irish public to the work of Trócaire.
“As always, we are tremendously grateful for this support from the people of Ireland, north and south, as well as our ongoing partnership with Irish Aid, which allows us to work with local partners in an effort to tackle poverty and injustice in some of the world’s poorest regions. Our programmes around the world brought support and relief to communities in 27 countries, including humanitarian support for nearly 1.8 million people.
“However, the Covid crisis has profoundly changed Trócaire’s work. Over recent months, our programmes have rapidly shifted to helping to stop the spread of the virus in countries that lack the most basic medical infrastructure to deal with an outbreak.
“Trócaire and our partners are providing support in the communities where we work. As well as providing public health messaging and hand-washing facilities, we are also supporting people in quarantine and providing medical support, including isolation facilities.
“Covid-19 is an immediate threat to us all, but the threat is heightened in places like refugee camps where people are unable to socially distance or regularly wash their hands. The social and economic implications of this pandemic have plunged already desperately poor people into further poverty. While our immediate response will continue for many months ahead, we are also expecting an increase in hunger in the months ahead.
“We are also concerned about the human rights impact of Covid-19. This crisis may provide authoritarian governments with an opportunity to clamp down on human rights, target human rights defenders and push ahead with projects that violate the rights of communities. Women and girls are also at increased risk of violence due to lockdown measures. Addressing both the drivers and impact of that violence is a priority for Trócaire.
“The lasting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic will only become clear in the months ahead. Trócaire’s loyal supporters will continue to play a vital role in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
Download Trócaire’s Annual Report for 2019-2020