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Published on 28 July, 2008

Food crisis hits Food for the Hungry

Africa (MNN) — Up to 14 million people are facing a dire sitution. The people of Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Northern Kenya have little or no food, and it's creating potential calamity for the region.

Dave Evans, vice president of government resources and programs with
Food For the Hungry,
says, "East Africa is in the middle of a food shortage and a drought. The rains that normally occur at this time of year were well below normal. So they're predicting well-below-normal harvests in all of these regions."

FH has been helping in many of these areas with agricultural programs. Evans says, "Rainfall started in time but ended prematurely. The most hit are ground nuts (peanuts) and some cereals, including corn. Normally a ground nut has 24 to 30 pods per plant, but farms are reporting only five to six."

That's a 75-percent loss in production.

Evan says, "We're headed into a crisis here — food prices exacerbated by drought."

While it's sometimes discouraging, "As Christian organizations, this is another opportunity for us to respond in a Christ-like way to people in need, so we're gearing up to do that," he says.

Food for the Hungry has worked in the region for two decades, working alongside the local church. Evans says it is a chance for the church to shine. "They're hurting themselves, but it's an opportunity also to reach out to their neighbors in love and share what little they have. And also, maybe [we can help with] some extra resources that these churches can benefit from."

The ultimate goal is to lead people to Christ.

The situation looks hopeless, but Christians need to be involved. "Food for the Hungry will be engaged in a concerted effort in all three of these countries, and we are seeking resources to be able to step up our activities to help meet these needs."

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