Public give 15% more to Trócaire during pandemic, raising €73m in 2020

Public give 15% more to Trócaire during pandemic, raising €73m in 2020

Birhan Etsana, 27, from Dengelat, uses a nasogastric tube to feed her malnourished baby, Mebrhit, who at 17 months old weighs just 5.2 kilograms (11 pounds and 7 ounces), at the Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekele, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. This was one of the conflicts where Trociare offered aid. Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis

Trócaire managed to collect 15% more from public donations in 2020 than 2019, despite the demands and hardships caused by the pandemic.

The Irish overseas charity raised €73m last year - the largest amount in three years.

The funds have gone to support programmes in 13 countries, assisting more than 300,000 people.

The projects include one responding to large-scale conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where, the charity said, “sexual violence, including rape, has become a weapon of war”.

Toughest year

Launching their 2020 annual report, Trócaire said the money raised from Irish people, north and south, came during one of the “toughest years in memory” with Covid-19.

It said that a lack of access to basic resources, such as land, food and water, trapped millions of people in extreme poverty.

In addition, climate change continued to have the most devastating impact on poorer countries.

Trócaire said it supported 301,000 people in 13 countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

It said the conflict in Tigray had displaced tens of thousands of people.

“Sexual violence, including rape, has become a weapon of war in the conflict,” the charity said. “Trócaire was able to provide psychosocial support to people and communities affected by the conflict, along with the delivery of temporary shelter materials, blankets, sleeping mats, cooking items and hygiene kits for families displaced by and made homeless by the conflict.” 

It said Irish Aid, Ireland’s official international aid programme, had contributed €22m to Trócaire’s work in 2020.

Including this funding, Trócaire said it was able to reach more than 426,000 people to mitigate the risks of Covid-19, including secondary effects, such as food insecurity and violence against women.

Trócaire said that around 9,000 vulnerable people, predominantly women and girls, also received specialised protection support in eight countries.

Catholic charity

The Catholic charity said there were “significant challenges” to democracy and the protection of human rights during 2020.

“There was a continued trend of authoritarianism and corruption in countries where Trócaire works, which was exacerbated by Covid-19,” the NGO said.

The report details that the human rights of 107,000 people were protected in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestine and Zimbabwe.

It said that more than 1,000 Palestinians were able to continue living in their homes in the West Bank due to the temporary suspension of Israeli demolition orders as a result of legal proceedings during, what the charity said, was “one of the most devastating humanitarian crisis of the 21st century”.

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