June 11, 2012

OTTAWA – A looming humanitarian crisis in West Africa's drought-ravaged Sahel region has prompted Canada's Catholic bishops to join forces with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to appeal for donations.

CCODP executive director Michael Casey called the growing food shortages "a major crisis," but one that has received little to no media attention. "The needs are extensive and will only increase," he said.

The bishops and CCODP launched a campaign May 29 to help an estimated 15.6 million people who face potentially catastrophic food shortages.

One million children face severe malnutrition.

CCODP said May 30 that it will commit $5 million to help 14,500 people in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.