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Faithful Asked to Donate to East Africa Humanitarian Crisis

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(From CNS and CRS releases)

Catholic Relief Services is asking the Catholic faithful in the United States to help address the urgent humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa by making a donation to CRS, the international aid agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. More than 12 million people are in urgent need of assistance in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia as a result of what many are calling the worst drought in decades in that region of the continent.

CRS reports the lack of rainfall has resulted in failed crops, deaths of livestock and critical shortages in food and water and lack of basic sanitation conditions. The hardest hit area is Somalia, where 3.7 million people are at risk of starvation. In Kenya, CRS and other aid agencies are on the ground, particularly in eastern Kenya, where 390,000 people housed in the Dadaab refugee camp are struggling to stay alive with an estimated 1,300 Somalians flowing into the camp every day from their country.

Pope Benedict XVI is calling on Catholics to respond to the dire needs of the people suffering in the east African nations. When Jesus fed the multitudes by miraculously multiplying loaves and fishes, he gave his disciples an example to follow, the Pope said, adding, "It is inadmissible to be indifferent in the face of the tragedy of the hungry and thirsty."

How to Help 

Donate by Phone 
Call 1-800-736-3467 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

Donate by Mail 
Mail your check or money order to: 
Catholic Relief Services 
Memo: East Africa Emergency Fund 
P.O. Box 17090 
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090 

Donate Online 

Above: A displaced Somali woman sits in front of her makeshift shelter in the Madina district, southern Mogadishu, Somalia, Aug. 3. With more than 12 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti in need of aid, the U.N. says $1.4 billion is needed t o provide food and shelter. (CNS photo/Feisal Omar, Reuters) (Aug. 3, 2011)