Famine plagues Horn of Africa
Friday, July 22, 2011
Somalia, Africa
Aid agencies estimate 10 million people are in danger of starvation from a severe and increasing famine in the Horn of Africa.

Droughts have led to food shortages across the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Eritrea. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes, severely overburdening existing refugee camps and creating a crisis in some Horn nations.

Aid agency officials say the current food crisis is more extreme than the regional famine in the 1980s, and indications are it will worsen. The next harvest is not expected until October, and because rainfall has been far below average for more than a year, this crop is likely to fail. The stark reality is that millions in the affected nations will face widespread starvation for an extended period of time.

Those most vulnerable are the more than 2 million children under 5 years of age living in Africa's Horn.

Long-term conflict in the region has magnified the gravity of the situation. Somalia, officially without a government, is torn by violence between transitional government forces and Al Shabaab insurgents. Refugees fleeing the fighting have already filled camps in neighboring countries. Aid agencies have been refused access to Somalia, further compounding the food crisis and the strain on border nations.

The Church of the Nazarene is responding to this massive need. Targeted shipments of food will be distributed to those most affected to relieve the worst impact of the crisis. Other forms of aid include material for shelters, medical assistance, and, eventually, long-term assistance with resettlement.

Nazarene leaders in the Africa Region request prayer and support as they seek to minister to the hungry and thirsty.

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries asks for assistance in giving so the church in Africa can share tangible examples of Christ's love with those suffering from famine.

Persons and churches wishing to make a donation for Horn of Africa Famine Relief can do so online through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries at www.ncm.org. Checks can be marked "ACM1519" and mailed to Global Treasury Services, PO Box 843116 Kansas City, MO 64184. In Canada, checks should be made payable and sent to the Church of the Nazarene Canada, 20 Regan Road, Unit 9, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3.
--Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
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