Lord Mayor Andrew Montague asks for one hours salary to help the victims of the food crisis in East Africa

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Lord Mayor Andrew Montague asks for one hours salary to help the victims of the food crisis in East Africa

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague having been deeply touched by the unfolding tragedy arising from the food crisis in East Africa was moved to personally launch this appeal and collection on behalf of the following charities – Trocaire, Concern Worldwide and Oxfam Ireland.

The Lord Mayor launched the appeal this morning at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 with representatives from the three aid agencies.

‘I believe the people of Dublin would welcome the opportunity to express their support for the starving families in East Africa and I would ask that people would donate one hour’s salary to help the famine relief’ said the Lord Mayor.

‘I am aware that the people of Dublin have suffered over the last year from the downturn in the economy with many people losing their jobs, with increases in taxes. However I personally welcome the chance to do anything I can to assist the tremendous work being done by the aid agencies and to facilitate public support for their work.

Staff at the three agencies will also be invited to participate by donating an hour’s salary.

Trocaire’s director, Justin Kilcullen, visited some of the worst affected areas in East Africa last week and has urged people to support the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. “I visited Somalia last week where I saw a Trocaire health and feeding programme. In the Gedo region, Trocaire is the only provider of healthcare for 200,000 people. In a country where one third of the population is now facing starvation. I have no doubt that this programme, funded by the Irish people, is saving lives,” said Mr. Kilcullen.

Tom Arnold, CEO, Concern Worldwide welcomed this initiative, saying ‘What I have seen in East Africa is truly shocking.  The people I have met, and the stories I have heard – families who have been separated, children and elderly people dying from hunger and disease, people walking for days and weeks to find help – are heartbreaking. But the most disturbing thing is that this is only going to get worse.  These people urgently need our help and  I greatly welcome this appeal by Mayor Montague.  Concern Worldwide has been responding to the food crisis in Kenya and Ethiopia, and the famine in Somalia since late 2010; thanks to the generosity of the public we have reached over 400,000 people with emergency assistance to date, and together, thanks to Mayor Montague and the people of Dublin we can save many more lives.”

"I am sure the Lord Mayor's appeal to Dubliners will resonate strongly with people who have seen and heard about terrible scenes of human despair in the media over the past few weeks. The famine in Somalia and food crisis in East Africa continues to force countless families into a desperate struggle to stay alive day-by-day. Oxfam is there, providing food, water and shelter and with support from the generous people of Dublin we can help save lives. I thank Mayor Montague for this important initiative’ said Jim Clarken Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland

Ends

Notes to the Editor

Money can be donated to the appeal through a donation button on the Lord Mayor’s website – www.lordmayorofdublin.ie

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress will host a coffee morning on 5th August from 10.00 to 12.00 at the Mansion House in aid of this appeal. The Lord Mayor has asked that people host an event to raise money for the appeal for family, neighbours or work colleagues

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