World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, 17 June

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7 June marks the UN World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. This year the theme examines the important link between land degradation and migration and how local communities can build resilience through combating desertification and land degradation.


In 2015, the year for which we have the most recent figures, 244 million people, or 3.3 per cent of the world’s population, lived outside their country of origin. The majority of migrants cross borders in search of better economic and social opportunities. Others, however, are forced to flee crises- war and conflict, persecution, natural disasters and environmental crises.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released a report today, 9 June, estimating that 37 countries (29 in Africa, 7 in Asia, 1 in Latin America and the Caribbean) are in need of external assistance for food with displaced populations and refugee influxes putting strain on host communities in countries such as Chad, DCR and Niger. An article summarising the situation can be read here.

Once again, we are each reminded of the necessity to support climate action to avoid further devastation from the effects of climate change. We are challenged to contribute in all the ways we can, both large and small, to benefit everyone’s security, prosperity and health.

This week we will celebrate the second anniversary (18 June) of the release of the letter from Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, where we are called ‘to cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents’ (LS 14).

As Sisters of St John of God, our Chapter call is to
‘Attend to the ebb and flow of life
Dare to be drawn into harmony with
the great dance of life, of God.’

Join us in responding to the invitation we are given in Laudato Si’ to care for one another and ‘our common home’.

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