Famine and drought continue in Africa, Christians respond

By May 8, 2006

Africa (MNN) — A United Nations Envoy is appealing to wealthy Arab nations who have benefited from high oil prices, to help the drought and famine situation in east Africa. At least 7.5 million people are suffering from the worst drought in a decade in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Djibouti. Cattle are dying and food supplies to 18 million people are in jeopardy.

Millions of dollars have poured in from the United States and Europe. Also, many non-governmental organizations like the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee are getting involved. The CRWRC is distributing more then 5,500 tons of corn, beans, peas and vegetable oil in to Kenya in response.

CRWRC’s Jakob Kramer says while food aid is important, the main focus will be on long term solutions. “We can not every time come back for food distribution. The long term solution is to work with the farmers so that their resistance, their capacity to deal with these droughts is increased.”

CRWRC will be working with about 1,500 families, says Kramer. “Reestablishing their microenvironment, by planting trees, by doing deep furrow, terracing, to catch the water that falls and hold it back so it can do its beneficial work.”

According to Kramer most people know they’re a Christian organization and that testimony gives them plenty of chances to share the Gospel. He says their Christian worldview is on display as part of their agricultural training. “It’s important for a farmer to see himself or herself as a steward of God’s creation. And, we find a remarkable affect on these farmers once they start understanding themselves as stewards of the environment, stewards of God’s creation.” Which provide opportunities to talk about the Gospel.

Kramer says there’s one thing that’s preventing them from doing more. “We have a great need for more funding to do these long programs.” You can help by clicking on the link below.

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