In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, please keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers, and, importantly, consider donating to a fund that is providing on the ground immediate relief in Haiti.
This week also marks two important international days – International Day for Disaster Reduction and World Food Day – that bring attention to significant issues related to natural disasters and their after effects. You can read more about them here (www.un.org/en/events/disasterreductionday, www.wfp.org/WorldFoodDay) and have a look at the articles below.
Hurricane Matthew and the Food Issue – Global Catholic Climate Movement
Now that the wind and rain have stopped, the impoverished nation of Haiti faces the nightmare combination of disease and starvation in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
Last week the storm blew 145 mile-per-hour (233 kph) winds, killing hundreds, displacing thousands, destroying homes and causing widespread flooding across the country. The death toll has topped 1,000 and authorities have had to begin burying the dead in mass graves because the bodies were starting to decompose.
These types of storms and the severity with which they occur is no accident. We have known for some time that climate change is a driver of these ever-worsening storms.  They serve as a stark reminder that we must act now and quickly transition to fossil free for a better future.
We invite our members and partners to send relief to Haiti through our partners at Caritas Internationalis. The Caritas confederation has mobilized to collect funds for Caritas Haiti to give immediate help.
Something that goes hand-in-hand with extreme weather occurrences like this but is not often considered is hunger. Globally, about 800 million people suffer malnourishment. That’s a staggering figure. Factor in a storm like Hurricane Matthew and that number climbs.
We invite you to take part in the fight to combat hunger this weekend. Sunday, October 16 is World Food Day.  This year’s focus is on the links between agriculture and climate and the need to shift to more just, sustainable and resilient food systems. Our current food system is exacerbating the climate crisis, with the agriculture sector responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is huge! It’s time to change course…
Read in full: Hurricane Matthew & the Food Issue
International Day for Disaster Reduction commemorated — World Council of Churches
The International Day for Disaster (Risk) Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of lessening their risks.
The role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in the field of disaster risk reduction (DRR) has become increasingly recognized in recent years by the United Nations, various governments and other stakeholders. The most recent recognition was evident at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, where one of the special sessions was devoted to religious engagement and more than 160 FBOs and religious leaders endorsed the Charter for Faith-Based Humanitarian Action.
Forming the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLIF&LC) in 2012 was a concrete step to highlight the contributions of FBOs in responding to DRR. The JLIF&LC is an international collaboration on evidence for faith groups’ activities and contribution to community health and wellbeing.
On 10 October, the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) along with World Council of Churches (WCC) and the JLIF&LC organised a roundtable at the Ecumenical Centre to commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction, inviting representatives from the UN, government missions, FBOs, and academia…