June 17th: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

June 15, 2012
by 
Josianne Gauthier, Deputy Executive Director

This Sunday marks World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. It was on June 17th 1992 that the UN adopted the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). It is a day to remember the dangererous impacts of desertification and drought in the world. For the 18 million people currrently threatened by food shortages in West Africa, the dangers associated with desertification are all too real. Drought is one of the primary factors for increasing the vulnerability of poor families in the region of the Sahel.

Development and Peace is proposing a concrete gesture to show solidarity towards our brothers and sisters in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Chad and Senegal. Join us in the urgent need to fight hunger, but also to combat the deep-rooted causes of this food crisis, which has been exacerbated by drought – causes which will persist over the months and years to come.

Most Rev. Richard Smith, Archbishop of the diocese of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), in a letter to the Bishops of Canada, has also invited Catholics across the country to organize and participate in collections for Development and Peace’s campaign for the Sahel. In a letter he wrote on the situation, he reminds us all of the importance of World Day to Combat Desertification and our responsibility to act.