“An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia - about a third of the population - are on the brink of starvation and millions more in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have been struck by the worst drought in the region in 60 years,” according to AFP.
The U.N. officially declared a famine in two regions of Somalia last week and has declared an emergency humanitarian crisis throughout the Horn of Africa. However, shipments from the U.N. World Food Program were initially held up by al-Shabab, an al Qaeda-affiliated militant group that controls much of the region and has denied a famine is taking place.
Voice of America reports that the U.N. refugee agency is estimating that 100,000 Somalis have made their way to camps in Mogadishu over the past couple of months, and continue to come at a rate of 1,000 every day. Food security experts are already noting that victims will need funds, seeds and livestock in order to sustain themselves as soon as they are able to leave the camps.
Though an estimated 12 million lives are hanging in the balance, security concerns and the fact that the international community was caught off guard by the severity of the drought are contributing to the hold up in international aid, according to reports.
We hope you’ll join us in showing our support for those in need and our Anglican brothers and sisters in the region by committing to financial and prayer support.
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund has set up a fund to assist those who are suffering as a result of the famine. For more information or to donate online, click here. If you wish to send a check, it can be mailed to ARDF’s secure lockbox at ARDF, PO Box 3830, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-3830 with “East Africa Famine” in the memo line.
Bible verse and prayer shared by The Venerable Dr. Jon I. Lumanog, Canon for Provincial and Global Mission:
“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33:18-19)
Almighty God, who sent Jesus to be the Bread of Life, we pray that you would keep our brothers and sisters in the region of Somalia alive in famine. For those who do not have enough of what they need to sustain life, bless them with your provision. For those of us who have more than enough, give us wisdom and discernment on how we can be a blessing to those struggling with famine. Use our Church to bring healing and wholeness to a struggling region in Africa. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. Amen.
Photo caption: Somali refugees who recently crossed from Somalia into southern Ethiopia cluster between two food tents as they wait to be called to collect rations at the Kobe refugee camp on July 19, 2011. Credit: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images