Trócaire has dubbed parishes the “life-blood” of the charity after their annual report shows one of the strongest Christmas campaigns in their history.
In their report for 2018/2019 the Church-charity raised €2.3 million during its Christmas appeal, a 10% increase on 2017. This was used to assist families affected by conflict in countries such as Yemen and South Sudan.
Eoghan Rice, Head of Communications in Trócaire, told The Irish Catholic they are “delighted” with the increased support, and that parishes are pivotal in allowing them to further their humanitarian goals.
“Parishes are the lifeblood of Trócaire, there’s no doubt about it, whether it’s the Christmas campaign or the Lent campaign or just the support we get throughout the year.
“The support is holding up and increasing, I think people see the news, they see what’s happening and I think they know the need.”
Published over the weekend, the report states Trócaire supported 2.9 million people in 27 countries during the 2018/19 financial year.
The agency raised €69 million, including donations from the public worth €23.2 million. This is less than the €29 million they received in 2017/18, which they put down to donations sent for their East Africa Emergency Appeal during that period, which secured €5.5 million.
The Lenten campaign remains Trócaire’s largest fundraiser, generating €7.6 million.
Commenting on the report, CEO Caoimhe de Barra thanked local parishes, schools and clergy for their “generosity”.
She added: “Governments are increasingly restricting civil society and targeting human rights defenders.
“We continued to see a significant increase in work to defend civil and political rights across a number of countries. This is in response to the worsening human rights environment and illustrates our increased focus on this area of work.
“In 2018, 247 human rights defenders were murdered for protecting their communities’ rights in the face of corporate interests. We have launched a campaign to secure a binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights. This protection is needed to keep communities safe from land grabs and other violations”