Caoimhe de Barra, Trόcaire’s CEO, said that climate change and Covid-19 continued to have an enormous impact in the countries where Trócaire works.
“Not only were health systems still overwhelmed but the secondary effects of Covid-19 were devastating with lockdowns, travel restrictions and school closures costing millions of people their livelihoods. Children, especially girls, lost out on education and gender-based violence escalated,” she said.
Ms De Barra said other challenges during the year included the coup in Myanmar and the conflict in Ethiopia, both which happened suddenly and with devastating human impact, and ongoing insecurity in eastern DRC.
“It was in this context that Trócaire further developed its capacity to be agile and resilient, and to find ways to ensure we could meet the needs of crisis-affected people to the very best of our ability,” Ms de Barra said.
“Despite these challenges, we are proud to have reached 1.8 million people in 24 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia in the last year. This would not have been possible without the support and solidarity of our donors, and especially the people of Ireland who have once again shown their generosity and shared common goal for a just and equal world.”
Last year, Trócaire’s work included supporting 1.2 million people in humanitarian crises around the world; 92,342 people to fight for their human rights and access to justice in Central America, Palestine and Zimbabwe; 313,088 people in thirteen countries on climate and environmental justice; and 238,970 women and girls through empowerment programmes in fourteen countries.
Ms de Barra used the launch of the report to issue a dire warning on the deteriorating hunger situation in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
“23 million people in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are suffering hunger, more than four and a half times the population of Ireland. It is estimated that 1,800 people are dying from hunger every day. That anyone, anywhere should die of hunger in the 21st Century is an absolute scandal. The crisis continues to escalate, driven by climate change and conflict and the situation is being exacerbated by the disruption of the global economy and food systems as a result of conflict in Ukraine.”
Ms de Barra said that currently in Gedo region in southern Somalia, where Trócaire runs the health services, there is a huge increase in the number of people in need of support. “In our hospital in Luug the number of children admitted with malnutrition has trebled since January as thousands of families are on the move with drought causing their crops to fail and their treasured herd of goats to die. Our team are hearing horrific stories on an almost daily basis of families losing mothers, fathers and siblings from hunger as they walk for days to find food and shelter.”