By Susan Gately - 23 July, 2015
Positive trends in poverty reduction are being out-paced by the growth of conflict and worsening of climate change according to Trócaire.
Launching its Annual Report for the year 1 March 2014 – 28 February 2015 the Catholic agency noted that while there have been successes in the battle against extreme poverty, the spread of conflict and the impact of severe weather patterns on food production and displacement are undoing many of the gains that have been made.
Trócaire has brought vital aid and support to approximately 2.4 million people in some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world over the last year said Executive Director Éamonn Meehan. “Many of our biggest programmes are responding to the needs of people forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict. Our programmes in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Myanmar, South Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are providing vital supplies to people caught in the crossfire.”
In addition issues linked with climate change are driving Trócaire programmes.
“Climate change is also causing displacement and increasing poverty as droughts, storms and floods intensify around the world,” said Mr Meehan. “Last February over 635,000 people were affected by flooding in Malawi, while prolonged periods without rainfall in countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and Rwanda are making it increasingly difficult for farmers to grow crops.”
In 2014 / 15 the Irish public donated €22 million to Trócaire’s non-emergency fundraising, the same as the previous year. A further €1 million was donated to specific humanitarian appeals, primarily appeals for the Ebola response in Sierra Leone and the response to the Gaza conflict.
The Irish Government contributed €18.2 million to Trócaire’s work through Irish Aid. It is the single largest donor to Trócaire’s work contributing 31% of the organisation’s total income.
Thanking the public for its ongoing support which never wavered even through difficult economic times, Éamonn Meehan said the €23 million donated amounted to almost €4 for every man, woman and child on this island. “That is an incredible testament to people’s commitment to the world’s poorest people.”
Benefitting from the public donations were:
Trócaire’s two largest programme areas are livelihoods and emergency response. In 2014/15 the organisation’s emergency programmes benefited 1.1 million people directly and a further 3 million people indirectly, while the livelihoods programmes benefited approximately 795,000 people directly and 1.5 million people indirectly. Trócaire also operates programmes protecting human rights, supporting gender equality and working with people living with HIV.