Pic: Khadra Sudie Daud with her family next to their shelter at the Qahnxsley camp for displaced people in Somalia. This shelter was provided by Trócaire with support from Irish Aid.
Maynooth-based charity Trócaire has thanked the people of Co Kildare for their vital support over the last year which has allowed the organisation to help 2.9 million people in 27 of the poorest countries across the world.
The figures were released this week in the charity’s annual report which showed that the scale of Trócaire’s work increased in 2018/19.
Raising more than €23.2m from donations, the charity thanked the public for their support, highlighting the significant contribution the people of Ireland continue to make to Trócaire’s work.
The Lenten campaign remains Trócaire’s largest fundraiser, generating €7.6m, with Christmas also becoming increasingly important.
Last year the organisation raised €2.3m during its Christmas appeal as people responded to conflicts affecting families in countries such as Yemen and South Sudan. This was one of the strongest Christmas campaigns of the charity’s history and reflected an increase of almost 10% on 2017.
Of the 2.9 million people the organisation supported last year, 1.9 million people received humanitarian support, while 496,000 were supported to improve their access to land and water. A further 272,000 people were assisted by the organisation’s Women’s Empowerment programme, while 207,000 people received human rights support.
Trócaire provided support to people in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. In terms of number of people supported, Trócaire’s largest programmes last year were in Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.
The organisation also reported a number of successful advocacy campaigns during the last year, which included helping to secure historic court judgements in Guatemala which dated back to crimes committed during the genocide of indigenous communities in the 1980s.
In Ireland, a two-year campaign by Trócaire and other organisations, resulted in a landmark decision by the Irish Government to become the first state in the world to withdraw its investment in the fossil fuel industry. This, Trócaire says, is an important action for Ireland to take in its effort to tackle climate change as its impact becomes even more stark – especially on the communities where Trócaire works around the world.
Commenting on the newly released annual report, Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra, who took up the role in October following the retirement of Éamonn Meehan, said:
“Thank you to the people of Co Kildare. The generosity of the Irish public continues to leave an enormous footprint across the world. Trócaire works with local partners so that we can reach as many vulnerable people as possible and we are thankful to have been able to help improve the lives of 2.9m people facing poverty and injustices.
“This includes supporting communities to access vital resources such as land and water and to improve their resilience to climate-related shocks. People across Ireland have continued to show incredible generosity towards our work over the last year. We are enormously grateful for the support of the Irish public and our ongoing partnership with Irish Aid.”
Despite many positive developments, Caoimhe warned there has been a deterioration in human rights standards in many countries.
She added: “Trócaire remains steadfast in the promotion and protection of social justice and rights for the most vulnerable people worldwide, and the need for this work has never been more relevant. The commitment of the Irish public to social justice is astounding.
“I hope people across Co Kildare will continue to help us champion human rights, including the right of people and organisations to mobilise peacefully and speak out against injustice. It is a characteristic for which we are known around the world and one we should all take enormous pride in.”