Published: 00:00 GMT Daylight Time - Friday 23 October 2009
Hunger Strikes East Africa
|The Horn of Africa is bracing itself as a severe and prolonged drought tightens its grip. Recent reports predict that as many as 23 million people could be on the brink of starvation in Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea and other countries.|
Drought has seized the area for four successive years, bringing with it bad harvests. Coupled with conflict, climate change and population growth the crisis has left millions of people desperate for food.
This week, the Ethiopian government has asked the international community for emergency food aid for 6.2 million people, although the World Food Programme estimates that 10 million people in the country will be affected by drought and the ensuing famine.
In Kenya, where at least one in ten already receives emergency rations, an estimated four million people are at risk. Sources say that the cycle of drought used to come round every ten years, but now it is almost a constant threat; one local Kenyan widow who has six children says, “The last time I had a good harvest was 2003.” Although clouds gathered and rains fell recently, aid agencies warn that the rains are too late to bring relief, and instead they will bring flooding, hypothermia and diseases such as malaria and cholera.
Francis Omondi, a senior Christian leader in a famine-stricken region of Kenya, says,
“Many, many people are affected. Hundreds of animals are dying. People have not been able to produce crops ... There is an urgent need to step in to assist people. Now that the rains have come, people need seed to sow but they need food to feed their families until they can harvest their crops.”
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, says,
“The United Nations’ Food Agency has warned that, across the world, there are more hungry people and there is less food aid than ever before. In the Horn of Africa many of our Christian brothers and sisters are living in situations of discrimination and persecution. Aid that is distributed by the majority community may therefore not reach the Christians. Please would you pray for them, and – if you are able – send a gift to help.”
Barnabas Fund is supporting the hungry Christians of north-east Kenya, a strongly Islamic area where Christians live with marginalisation and hostility. We are providing seed for them to sow, to make use of the current rains, and food to support them until the harvest. If you would like to help, please click to donate online using our secure server. Please quote project reference 25-359 (Drought victims in the Horn of Africa and NE Kenya).
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK (Please quote project reference 25-359).
If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. (Please quote project reference 25-359).
- For all those in East Africa who are struggling on a daily basis with no food for their families and for those who are trying to reach them with aid.
- For governments in the region as they try to coordinate relief efforts.
- For Christians affected by the drought and famine that their faith in the Lord Jesus will sustain them with hope and peace, and be a witness to others.
- That the rains that have come will bring a good harvest and not the water-borne diseases that are feared.