Catholic Bishops Launch Special Appeal for Famine Victims in the Horn of Africa

Monday, June 12 2000

(Ottawa, CCCB) … Responding to an urgent appeal from Catholic Churches in the Horn of Africa, Canada’s Catholic Bishops have launched a special appeal to aid famine victims and refugees in the region — particularly in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan.

The appeal was made today by Most Rev. Gerald Wiesner of Prince George, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, with the support of: (AtlanticCanada) Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast, Archbishop of Halifax; (Québec) His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal; Most Rev. Maurice Couture, Archbishop of Québec; Most Rev. Jacques Berthelet, Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and Vice-President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops; (Ontario) Most Rev. Marcel Gervais, Archbishop of Ottawa; (Western Canada) Most Rev. James Weisgerber, newly-appointed Archbishop of Winnipeg. (Refer below for phone numbers).

The bishops are asking Canadian Catholics to respond generously to alleviate the suffering caused by food shortages; to assist the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced by war; and to lobby the Canadian government to do whatever it can to facilitate the peace process among the warring factions.

The emergency relief effort will be co-ordinated by the Canadian Catholic Organization for DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (CCODP). The bishops’ international development agency has sent morethan $150,000 to the region in recent months from its regular emergency fund, and Canadian Catholics have already donated an additional $78,000 to CCODP to help people in the Horn of Africa.

CCODP has been active in the region since the terrible famine of 1984, when it provided $19 million in relief. Funding has continued down through the years. DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE has sent almost $2 million to the Horn of Africa since 1992.

The Canadian bishops’ appeal was launched at the request of the Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as the Ethiopian Orthodox and Evangelical Churches (Mekane Yesus) and Caritas Internationalis, the international Catholic relief agency.

“We address our appeal … to those institutions, groups and individuals who have at heart the good of those men, woman and children who face extinction through violence, hunger and deprivation,” said Fr. Stefanos Tedla, Chairman of the Catholic Church Emergency Committee in Eritrea. “No one can sleep with a peaceful conscience after seeing the forsaken look of incomprehension on the innocent faces of thousands of children left without mothers or fathers.”


DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE will accept cash donations, but cannot accept clothes, food or medicine. Send donations directly to : DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE, c/o 10 St. Mary Street # 420, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1P9 or call 1-888-664-DEVP (3387). Cheques should be clearly labelled :”DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE – Horn of Africa”.

Details about the situation on the ground in the Horn of Africa can be provided by DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE in Canada, or by contacting the following people:

Br. Gregory Flynn, Deputy Secretary General, Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat
Tel: 011-251-1-55-03-00; E-mail:

Fr. Stefanos Tedla, Chairman of the Catholic Church Emergency Committee in Eritrea
Tel: 291-1-184-372 ; E-mail:

Mr. Allan Duncan, Project Manager, Catholic Relief Services in Sudan
Tel: 25-42-780-22-3; E-Mail:

The Canadian Catholic Bishops mentioned above can be reached at the following numbers:
Atlantic Canada : Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast (902) 429-9800
Québec : Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte (514) 931-7311
Most Rev. Jacques Berthelet (450) 679-1100
Most Rev. Maurice Couture (418) 692-3935
Ontario : Most Rev. Marcel Gervais (613) 738-5025
Western Canada : Most Rev. Gerald Wiesner (250) 964-4424
Most Rev. V. James Weisgerber (306) 242-1500

For more information, please contact:
In Toronto : Jack Panozzo, (416) 922-1592,
In Montreal : Ken Whittingham, (514) 257-8711,