FOOD AID FOR CHRISTIANS CUT OFF - 1.7 million in jeopardy as UN and USA halt food shipments to Middle East
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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
12/4/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
Due to a failure of the international community, a massive, unprecedented humanitarian crisis looms over the Middle East. The UN World Food Program announced on Dec. 1, that it would stop feeding refugees because it did not have enough money to supply them with food. Catholic Relief Services is petitioning Congress to act in the coming absence of the UN.
Caught in a crisis not of their making, children are the first to suffer in famine. Food aid has been cut off by the UN in an unprecedented decision because governments have not kept their pledges.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United Nations has announced that it is halting food relief efforts for 1.7 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt because member nations have not kept their pledges to the UN. The UN World Food Program needs $70 million per week to feed these people and has run out of money.
"We urge Congress now to provide adequate funding for the Syrian refugees as well as for other crises around the world," Bill O'Keefe, vice president for legislative affairs for Catholic Relief Services told Congress on Dec 1.
"The Syrian refugees' situation is already dire and resources are needed for education, livelihoods, health and other needs; more funding is needed to avoid a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe," he explained.
Included in the 1.7 million affected refugees could be up to 200,000 Christians displaced from their ancient communities by Islamic terrorists.
It's unclear what will happen in camps like this one when the food stops. People can leave, but generally have nowhere to go. What happens next is not up to them.
Emergency funding for the World Food Program has run out because both member nations and the U.N. are fighting multiple crises on several fronts. Ebola in West Africa, a wave of child immigrants on the U.S. border with Mexico, famine in South Sudan, and conflict against terrorists from Africa to Afghanistan have cause the UN and U.S. government to split funding between these crises.
A new super typhoon is also bearing down on the Philippines and could result in a major disaster there within the next 24 hours.
There is also no extra money on hand should yet another crisis emerge.
Snows have fallen across camps at high elevations, the cold adding to the misery many feel from hunger. Until now, hunger has been common, but not constant. This will now change for the worse.
With the UN and the U.S. failing, it falls once again to the Catholic Church to make the difference between life and death for millions of people. Indeed, the Catholic Church is the only institution with the membership, resources, and distribution network available to rescue vulnerable populations around the world. In many places, the Catholic Church provides the only human services available from medical care to food aid to education.
Experts feared a massive famine in the region last year, but that famine was staved off in part because individual people from around the world donated food and resources to various agencies including the UN and the Catholic Church. Your Catholic Voice Foundation (YCVF) has been instrumental in those efforts, sending "loaves and fishes" donated by dedicated Catholics to the region. YCVF continues to look after the needs of displaced Iraqi Christians by supporting the delivery of food as well as religious items to those who desire them.
Children feast on crumbs harvested from a gutter, revealing just how desperate many of the people are becoming for food. With food aid now cut off, the situation will become even worse.
However, this year will be different. Last year the UN was a major factor in preventing famine. They will not be present for some time now that member nations have reneged on their pledges. This makes the urgent support of Catholic all that much more important.
A girl waits for food distribution along with thousands of other hungry refugees. Her future, along with those of hundreds of thousands of other children, is uncertain. Children often suffer the most during famine including long-term mental and physical deficiencies.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that enough can be raised to support all 1.7 million people through the winter, but every person can do something and every little bit helps. Every donation through YCVF helps save a child for one month.
In light of the new emergency, YCVF is asking all readers to at least make a one-time donation to feed those in need. Aid is distributed through Catholic networks in the region.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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