(Photo courtesy of Lutheran World Federation)
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to expand. There have now been more than 13,560 cases of infected persons and more than 4,950 deaths. While the disease itself continues to ravage communities and elicit fear and stigma, there are consequential impacts of the disease that are also severe, such as food shortage.
The closing of borders and sea ports and the decline in trade has left the region in a tough financial and food situation. Many farmers have abandoned their land out of fear, which has led to a decrease in food production and an increase in prices for the food that is available.
A report from the United Nations says that while the countries impacted with Ebola try to contain the virus, they are also facing a new hurdle with an approximate one million people in the region who are in need of food assistance.
In mid-September, Lutheran Disaster Response provided food assistance to our companion churches in Liberia and Sierra Leone. We are now again providing food assistance to our brothers and sisters in Liberia through our companion church, the Lutheran Church in Liberia. Approximately one thousand households in six targeted areas of Liberia will receive a month’s supply of oil, rice and fish.
Liberia continues to be the country that is struggling with the most cases of Ebola, and communities remain quarantined and families have been isolated. Bishop Seyenkulo of the Lutheran Church in Liberia says that lack of food continues to be a main concern all over the country due to the fact that quarantines and isolations prevent people from being able to harvest or maintain a sustainable livelihood.
While the Ebola crisis continues to impact families in West Africa both directly and indirectly, Lutheran Disaster Response will continue to walk with our brothers and sisters. We pray for healing and comfort for those who are fighting this disease themselves. We pray for strength and protection for medical workers. God of life and love everlasting, hear our cries for mercy, comfort and help.
Please join us in praying for an end to this disease. If you would like to support Lutheran Disaster Response’s work in the fight against Ebola, please visit the Ebola Outbreak giving page.