2009, The ‘Year of Africa’

John L Allen’s weekly column in the National Catholic Reporter urges Catholics to join with Pope Benedict XVI to make 2009 the “Year of Africa.”

Allen cites, among others, the following statistics:

– The number of Africans living in extreme poverty, meaning less than $1 a day, is projected by the United Nations to rise to 404 million in 2015. Some 800 million Africans suffer from chronic hunger, including 300 million children.

– Roughly 25 million Africans are living with HIV/AIDS, representing six percent of the adult population, with an estimated two million deaths each year. Between 12 and 14 million African children have been orphaned by AIDS.

– An estimated 11 million African children die each year due to preventable diseases such as malaria, measles, diarrhea and pneumonia.

CRS has programs throughout Africa. We welcome anyone who seeks to partner with us to give tangible near-term help and build long-term self-sustaining enterprises in Africa. The global financial crisis has, of course, hurt everyone. It has made helping more difficult even as it increases the desperation of needy people. If you are at all inclined and able to help, know that what may seem an insignificant amount to you is nothing less than lifesaving. Even a little bit can make a big difference.

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One Response to “2009, The ‘Year of Africa’”

  1. Elizabeth Rogers Says:

    It is good that you enphasize Africa at the beginning of this year. I thinwok most Americans hear little about the particular needs of the farmers there.
    In Fair Trade, would some products be more helpful than others at this time of economic crisis?

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