Media CenterCRS Joins Groundbreaking Alliance to Support Millions of Farmers Facing Climate Change

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Catholic Relief Services joins groundbreaking alliance to support millions of farmers facing climate change

BALTIMORE, MD, July 2, 2014 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has joined an African Union partnership – along with eight other agencies – to reach millions of rural families with climate-smart agriculture approaches that will allow them to produce nutritious and environmentally sustainable crops. Known as the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance, the partnership – launched today at a summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea – will contribute to the African Union’s goal of helping 25 million farmers become food secure by 2025. The Climate-Smart Alliance unites organizations like CRS with academics and governments to quickly scale up on-farm assistance, link rural workers to technological advances and support a favorable policy environment. Speaking at the launch event on June 25, New Partnership for Africa’s Development CEO Dr. Ibrahim Mayak said, “Climate change is affecting the poorest of the poor disproportionately, especially small-holder farmers, who make up 80 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Alliance, through collective expertise, resources and on-the-ground experience, will focus on helping millions of farm families adapt practices, capacities and skills that will increase resilience while drought, floods and other weather-related events threaten their livelihoods.” “The current levels of extreme poverty on the continent can only be addressed through the widespread adoption of more resilient, productive and sustainable farming practices,” added Sean Callahan, chief operating officer of CRS, who attended the launch. In addition to CRS, Alliance partners include international NGOs CARE, Concern Worldwide, Oxfam and World Vision. Four technical partners will ensure the most up-to-date information and evaluation capacity. They are the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the research consortium CGIAR, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). “Food security and climate change cannot be addressed in isolation,” Callahan said, referring to the importance of the Alliance and CRS’ close collaboration with other organizations, including Caritas Africa, which has programming in 46 countries. “In addition to scaling up effective and sustainable practices among African farmers, the Alliance is committed to strengthening local capacity so that communities can work together toward a future free of hunger and malnutrition.”

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About Catholic Relief Services Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency eases suffering and provides assistance to people in need in 93 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media: Facebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief and @CRSnews,Google+Pinterest and YouTube.

Melissa Stevens

Social Media Strategist

Melissa Stevens
July 2, 2014

Based in Baltimore, MD

As Catholic Relief Services’ Social Media Strategist, Melissa Stevens oversees the strategic direction of the organization’s social media channels. She works with all aspects of the organization to effectively tell their story through social media and reach the right audiences.

Melissa has more than 8 years of communications and social...More