Over $3.5 million has been raised by the Catholic community in just the past six weeks to address hunger in Africa through a national ecumenical and interfaith appeal. The United Nations says that 20 million people, including 1.4 million children, are at risk of death over the coming months due to ongoing armed conflicts and severe droughts.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said $3,710,880 has raised to address the famine in South Sudan and extreme food shortages in Yemen, northeast Nigeria and Somalia through their Pray-Give-Speak Out appeal. Of that amount, $2,042,625 will be matched by the federal government through its Famine Relief Fund. 

The national appeal, launched on June 4, involves the CCCB, and other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Baha'i leaders in Canada. The CCCB is raising funds through the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace-Caritas Canada, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, and Canadian Jesuits International. 

The federal government is matching, one-to-one, every donation made to a registered Canadian charity between March 17 and June 30. The Catholic response represents 17.67% of the $21.3 million raised in that time.

The most recent figures from Catholic agencies show the amounts raised, and the matching federal aid:

Aid to the Church in Need

  • Total funds raised as of August 2017: over $400,000
  • Total funds eligible for the Federal Government's match campaign: $314,590

Canadian Jesuits International

  • Total funds raised as of August 2017: $460,880
  • Total funds eligible for the Federal Government's match campaign: $428,035

Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

  • Total funds raised as of August 2017: $2.85 million
  • Total funds eligible for the Federal Government's match campaign: $1.3 million

Salt + Light TV will broadcast a panel discussion on the Pray-Give-Speak Out appeal this Sunday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m., during its program Perspective Weekly. The panelists include Bishop Douglas Crosby, president of the CCCB; Luke Stocking, the Central Ontario animator for The Catholic Organization for Development and Peace; Marie-Claude Lalonde, national director of Aid to the Church in Need and Jenny Cafiso, director of Canadian Jesuits International.

Read our initial story on the appeal here: http://www.caedm.ca/PastoralScene/entryid/533/faith-leaders-call-us-to-respond-to-south-sudan-famine-crisis

More information is also available on the CCCB web site at http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/media-room/4780-over-35-million-dollars-raised-for-famine-relief-campaign-pray-give-speak-out