Church in Ethiopia Lauds U.S. Entity for Facilitating Outreach to “poorest of the poor”

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Officials of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia have lauded the partnership the people of God in the Horn of Africa nation are having with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the U.S.

In a report shared with ACI Africa June 24, Catholic Church leaders acknowledge with appreciation the partnership, the Archbishop of Addis Ababa Archdiocese saying that the partnership over the years has facilitated the reaching out to the “poorest of the poor”  in all regions of the country. 

In the report, Berhaneyesus Cardinal Souraphiel, underscores the impact of the partnership between CRS and members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE).

“The people of Ethiopia from North, South, East and West know the work that CRS is doing. And the poorest of the poor are grateful for your support. They know you by name,” Cardinal Souraphiel is quoted as saying during the joint meeting between CBCE representatives and officials of CRS that took place on June 20 in Addis Ababa.

Delegates as the joint meeting are said to have deliberated on “work relations between the Catholic Churches in Ethiopian and the United States, which is ongoing for more than six decades.”


The delegates “discussed the impacts of developmental, emergency, education, health and other areas of services delivered by the Ethiopian Catholic Church throughout Ethiopia by the generous support of CRS,” the report shared with ACI Africa indicates.

How the “long lasting family” relationship between the Church in Ethiopia and CRS could be strengthened and made effective was also discussed, the report further indicates.

The report quotes the Deputy Secretary General of Ethiopian Catholic Social Development Commission saying, the “partnership between CRS and Ethiopian Catholic Church is a family and fraternal relationship.”

“The long-standing and multi-dimensional solidarity with the local church leadership resulted in good coverage of programs in the Catholic Jurisdictions,” Ato Bekele Moges says in the June 24 report.

Mr. Moges acknowledges the efforts of CRS in attending to the needs of the Church and says that the people of God in the Horn of Africa nation appreciate what the U.S. Catholic charity is doing for their well-being.

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“The areas of cooperation with CRS are Humanitarian, Social Development, Peace building, institutional capacity building, child protection and safeguarding,” the Catholic Church official is quoted as saying.

He adds that the highlighted areas of cooperation have contributed to “A growing trend reaching a large number of beneficiaries, long standing interventions, increasing volume of resources in agriculture, health, nutrition, and microfinance and water security.”

In the report, Mr. Moges says that some of the achievements realized from the CBCE-CRS partnerships include “saving millions of lives, through the humanitarian responses recovery program every year, sustainable improvement of livelihoods of rural communities and asset building, protecting and improving natural resources through soil and water conservation and natural resource management.”

“The priorities in the future cooperation will be standardization and modernization of financial, HRM Property management systems and ICT infrastructures,” he is further quoted as saying, adding, “Inclusion of additional dioceses in CRS programs based on needs will also be focused on.”

During the June 20 joint meeting, the Country representative of CRS in Ethiopia is said to have presented an overview of the U.S. charity programs in the Horn of Africa nation, saying, the various initiatives undertaken last year benefited 10.8 million people.


“Girls empowering programs, youth peace ambassadors, peace building especially a huge intervention in Gedeo, Guji and Kercha are few examples of the interventions,” Ato Zemede Zewude has been quoted as saying.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Secretary General to Ethiopia Catholic Secretariat said that the CRS is enhancing the relationship with the Church in Ethiopia by “connecting the sister Churches of the United States and Ethiopia.”

“CRS is helping the Ethiopia Church to make sure that the Church values are maintained in the services that she is providing,” Fr. Teshome Fikre is quoted as saying in the June 24 report.

Meanwhile, in his remarks during the June 20 joint meeting, the president and CEO of CRS said that the U.S.-based charity organization centralizes human dignity in its strategies and that “the final goal” is to ensure self-sustainability of people at the grassroots. 

“In all the support the final goal of our organization is to support local societies to be self- sustained and be responsible for their own achievements,” Sean Callahan has been quoted as saying, adding, “Local people should be responsible for their own development.”

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Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.