Japan (MNN) — African aid topped the Group of Eight meetings in Japan yesterday. Rich nations are falling behind on their pledge to increase aid to poor nations by 50-billion dollars and doubling aid to Africa by 2010. According to Christian aid groups, now is the time for this discussion.
Food for the Hungry's Matt Panos says the food crisis is adversely affecting the African continent. "In Nairobi, they've seen food prices over the last six months go up about 30 to 40-percent. But if you go outside to northern Kenya, they're seeing food prices at 300-percent. And now you're talking about people who are really struggling to survive and get any food they can."
Panos says people there are using all the money they have on food and have no money for anything else.
The problem isn't only with nations who rely on imports for their food. Panos says, "Many countries are fearful of what the global crisis will do in their own countries. So instead of being an exporter, they've actually stopped exporting food. Those that counted on those exports are now receiving nothing."
That's putting pressure on Food for the Hungry's efforts to help. "Our costs are going up in every community as fuel costs go up, and in general, the cost of food. To add more dollars to the food side, we have to cut out from something else. So we're looking for donors to help us a little bit more in terms of funding so we can provide the additional food without hurting the other programs."
Food for the Hungry is providing food vouchers to help those in need. They're also helping the local producer to increase the crop yields.
Your financial support for aid or child sponsorship does more than just feed a child. "We're trying to help the local church fulfill its role in the community. We're there to share the Gospel. We're in the hardest places in the world to get to. Many of these places haven't been reached, or if they've been reached the church is a fledgling church and we're there to help and support it."
Bottom line, says Panos, help is needed now. "This is a food crisis that's not going away tomorrow. It's not going to go away this month or next month. This is going to be with us for at least a couple of months and maybe as long as a year."
He's asking you to consider what you can do on a daily basis to make a difference in the lives of children around the world.