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Published on 13 March, 2006

Millions in Africa face starvation if Christians and others don’t help

East Africa (MNN) — The quiet cry of a mother who’s lost yet another one of her seven children. The wail of a father knowing his family is gone. The grief of a volunteer wondering what they could have done to stop this tragedy. These scenes will play over and over again unless something’s done in East Africa, where drought has scorched farms and gardens and has dried up sources of water.

World Vision’s Nigel Marsh says they’ve identified the warning signs and they can’t be ignored. “There are 38 million people who, if they don’t get food soon, are going to be at serious risk of death. If we don’t respond, we’re going to see something like what happened in the 1980’s. And, if the rains fail in March and April–it’s a great possibility they will–it’s going to get much worse very quickly.”

Poor rains over the last two years have caused an incredible food and water shortage. Marsh says the key to stopping massive starvation is predicting a problem before it happens. “We have predicted this is happening. We’ve seen it coming. We already have food out on the ground. We’re working with communities. We need to respond now.”

As Christians, Marsh says, we’re commanded to help. “These are great opportunities just to reach out and to share our humanity and to talk about what God is doing in our lives and their lives.”

The drought is affecting Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Burundi. Marsh says while there are difficult political issues in a few of these countries it’s not stopping World Vision’s work.

That’s why Marsh encourages you to help, because your involvement can do so much. “Every dollar can raise $10, maybe $15 worth of support in terms of food. So, every time you give some money you’re helping us to get ahold of a very great deal more resources.”

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