Penketh visit highlights need to help Niger

'A huge thank you to Cafod supporters'

It is the poorest country on earth – yet support from the Archdiocese of Liverpool does make a difference to lives there.

This was the message from Michel Mondengele, Cafod's representative in Niger, when he visited St Joseph's parish in Penketh to explain how money raised in Liverpool is helping people cope with the food crisis in this West African country.

Lynette Hammill from St Joseph’s Cafod Group said: "We were thrilled that Michel could come here and he even stayed in the parish. He explained the work of Caritas Niger [Cadev] which our donations through Cafod make possible. People and communities are being supported in the most difficult circumstances."

Niger is rated as the planet's poorest country by the United Nations and Ged Edwards, the Cafod coordinator for the Archdiocese, said: "Because of climate change, the average temperature has risen to over 45C, the rains are less frequent so the crops fail to produce enough. By providing drought-resistant seeds, boreholes, hardier animals and feeding centres for some of the many malnourished families, there is a path to restoring dignity.

"When we can simply pop to the supermarket, it can be difficult for most of us to understand how people who have to grow their own live their lives."

According to Cafod, 870 million people worldwide go hungry each day. Niger has suffered crop failures in five of the last ten years, and last year the country also absorbed 200,000 refugees from war-torn neighbouring countries.

Edwards added: "We'd like to say a huge thank you to Cafod supporters in our area for their generosity. Can I thank too the marvellous people of St Joseph’s and the five other parishes who turned out to join us for a very special event."

For more information on Cafod’s Harvest appeal, go to www.cafod.org.uk/harvest