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News Around the World
Published on 02 April, 2012

Hunger crisis continues in West Africa

West Africa (MNN) — The
United States will give $120 million in emergency aid for western Africa's
drought-hit Sahel region in hope of preventing severe hunger.

The Sahel, which means "shore" in Arabic, includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali,
Mauritania and Niger. It has also been
hit hard by a drought, high food prices and regional conflict.

It's
a 3,400 mile expanse that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea,
between the Sahara desert to the north and the savanna to the south. It appears
to run as a coastline along the southern edge of the Sahara's ocean of sand.

As many as 11 million people face the renewed prospect of famine
caused by drought. If immediate action is not taken, families will be running
out of grain, food prices will be increasing, and livestock will be endangered.
Baptist Global Response is mobilizing rapidly to avoid a large-scale famine.

Families in Sub-Saharan Africa suffer constantly from
malnutrition. The possibility of famine is never more than a few months away. Late
rains in 2011 caused harvests to be much lower than normal. Since crops have
already been planted for this year, early rains are needed to stave off crisis.

Reuters
cites the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the latest reports estimating more than 1
million children under age 5 will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition
soon.

Southern
Baptists are being called to action to help save lives, said Jeff Palmer,
Baptist Global Response executive director. He adds, "We saw millions of people in
danger of starving this past fall in the Horn of Africa, and tens of thousands
died. This crisis could be worse if steps are not taken now to head off the
crisis.

Pray for those who will be meeting needs as families run out of
food and food prices skyrocket. Ask God to begin to stir the hearts of Southern
Baptists to give to the World Hunger Fund and BGR's Africa Famine Relief Fund.

BGR
and its partners respond to people with critical needs, whether those needs
arise from chronic conditions-like extreme poverty, contaminated water, or
endemic hunger-or acute crises-such as natural disaster, personal trauma, or
social upheaval. They act as the hands
and feet of Christ and often have opportunity to share the hope of the Gospel
as a result.

 

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