The drought and food shortages currently affecting 18 million people in six countries in West Africa are signs of a growing humanitarian crisis in the region. Although this situation is receiving little media attention, Catholics are not waiting for the crisis to worsen in order to start acting. Most Rev. Smith, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has invited bishops across Canada to organize a special collection in their diocese between now and September 16th in order to support projects in the region that can bring change now. Some dioceses have already responded to this call for solidarity, while others, such as the Archdiocese of Edmonton, which is holding its collection on the weekend of June 23-24th, will be having their collections in the coming weeks.
Development and Peace would like to thank the bishops of Canada for their support and quick reaction to this situation. We would also like to thank all the members and parish teams across the country for their commitment to bring aid to the most poor and vulnerable. Please let us know of any collections in your diocese so that we can give them visibility and show our encouragement. It is through our collective action that we can make a difference!