Trócaire thanks Derry people for ‘incredible generosity’ over year

Trócaire’s Head of Region in Northern Ireland, Siobhan Hanley has thanked the people of Derry for their ‘incredible generosity’ this year but warned that humanitarian needs are set to escalate in 2022 due to the compounding impacts of Covid-19, climate change and conflict.

Siobhan Hanley said one of the biggest crises facing low income countries in 2022 will be a ‘hunger pandemic’, with the number of people unable to access food expected to rise dramatically.

The UN says Covid has already triggered a dramatic worsening of hunger with 811 million people undernourished last year – a tenth of the global population.

Siobhan said: “Across Trócaire programmes in 20 countries we are witnessing and responding to the devastating triple impact of Covid, climate change and conflict.

Yaka Lucia, in the beginnings of her Permagarden with her baby Rosa. ©Sarah Fretwell

“Due to Covid lockdown measures people have not been able to travel to markets to sell their goods, go in search of daily labour to earn their living or plant crops. The result is there is no money for food.”

She said this is compounded by the heightening impacts of climate change which is having a devastating effect on food security. In one of Trócaire’s countries of operation, Somalia, the population is experiencing its third consecutive below-average rainfall season since late 2020. The resulting drought has meant millions are short of food.

Conflict is also having a huge impact in countries where Trócaire works.

In eastern DRC, the security situation worsened in the last two years resulting in 5.3 million people having to flee their homes - the highest level in Africa.

Siobhan said tackling global hunger requires addressing climate change, the political drivers of conflict and responding to covid in a way that means no one is left behind.

“All this requires political will and a belief that all of humanity has the right to aspire to the same quality of life.”

In relation to Covid she said the new Omicron variant is putting the lives of millions around the world at risk and huge pressure on health systems everywhere. She said that global vaccine inequity must be addressed.

However, Siobhan said that what shone through this year was the unwavering support of the Derry public for the work of Trócaire.

“This was evident with the support for our Lenten campaign and recent Church East Africa appeal. Thanks to the people in Co. Derry and right across Northern Ireland we were able to make a difference to the lives of millions.”