AS THE massive aid operation to Ethiopia got under way this week, the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (Cafod), said it was putting aside funds in readiness for instructions from the Disaster Emergency Committee on the proposed allocation of aid to the country.
The Little Way Association is sending at least £25,000. This will be distributed by three missionaries in the country. A White Father, Fr Gerald Stones, will get about £8,000. A Salesian, Bro Cesare Builo, will get £9,000 for distribution by the Catholic Social Action Committee in Makale, and about £7,000 will be sent to Mgr Luca Milesi OFM Cap., Apostolic Administrator of Aswara.
Cafod has already sent £1,000 worth of urgently needed snake serum requested by Mgr Milesi. This will be used at the social centre in Asmara.
It is the dry season in Ethiopia, the time of year when snakes are most likely to bite. Vipers arc extremely poisonous and the venom is especially dangerous to children, the sick and the elderly, Cafod said. The £1,000 will help 30-60 people, depending on the required strength of an injection.
Cafod has sent a further £500 worth of drugs and vitamins and is paying for the shipping of £100,000 worth of medicines to the centre, collected from drug companies and doctors by the parish of Our Lady of the Wayside, Solihull, West Midlands.
Ethiopian authorities estimate that they will need another three million tons over the coming year to feed a million victims of the famine.