According to the UNICEF report, almost one million children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa. UNICEF notes that:
- In Ethiopia, two seasons of failed rains mean that nearly six million children currently require food assistance, with school absenteeism increasing as children are forced to walk greater distances in search of water;
- In Somalia, more than two thirds of those in urgent need of assistance are displaced populations;
- In Kenya, El Niño related heavy rains and floods are aggravating cholera outbreaks;
- In Lesotho, one quarter of the population are affected. This aggravates grave circumstances for a country in which 34% of children are orphans, 57% of people live below the poverty line, and almost one in four adults live with HIV/Aids;
- In Zimbabwe, an estimated 2.8 million people are facing food and nutrition insecurity. The drought situation has resulted in reduced water yields from the few functioning boreholes exacerbating the risk to water-borne diseases, especially diarrhea and cholera;
- Malawi is facing the worst food crisis in nine years, with 2.8 million people (more than 15% of the population) at risk of hunger; cases of severe acute malnutrition have just jumped by 100% in just two months, from December 2015 to January 2016;
- In Angola, an estimated 1.4 million people are affected by extreme weather conditions and 800,000 people are facing food insecurity, mainly in the semi-arid southern provinces.
Isaiah 58:10 says,
“If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.”
Lutheran Disaster Response understands, as part of a community of faith, it is important that we never forget the importance of our presence in the world. How God uses us to feed the hungry and provide for the afflicted.
In addition to the $53,153 committed to Malagasy Lutheran Church in Madagascar, Lutheran Disaster Response has committed $70,000 to accompany Lutheran World Federation in Ethiopia to provide for the immediate hunger needs. The overall goal of the planned emergency response is to contribute to the efforts of saving lives and livelihoods and to mitigate the effects of drought in five districts of Afar, two districts of Oromia, and one district of Amhara region of Ethiopia. Through Cash for Work (CFW) activities LWF plans to reach about 56,866 individuals with about 12,000 of them being children.
Here’s how you can be a part of the response:
Please pray for all those affected by this crisis. Remember those who have lost everything and all those who are working to respond. You can use these prayers and resources in your worship services.
Your gifts are needed now to help with immediate relief to assist those directly impacted by the droughts. Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response will be used to provide immediate, life-saving aid.
To learn more about this situation and other LDR response: