International (MNN) — Eleven countries across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe face a heightened risk of food shortages over the next few years. The Russian invasion of Ukraine slashed wheat imports to several of these countries.
These nations also risk increased unrest as the food crisis mounts. The 11 countries named in the Allianz report are Algeria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Turkey.
Nick Archer with World Concern says climate change has impacted global food production as well. “There’s definitely evidence out there that things are changing. Even within the last couple of weeks, there’s been a huge heatwave that’s hit Europe. People have a lot of concern around that and why it’s happening.”
“Even here in where I live in Virginia, we’re seeing some stranger, more unusual weather patterns.”
East African drought and famine have gotten steadily worse for years. World Concern works in the region, providing nutritional supplements for children and those most vulnerable. Archer says, “Right now, we’re conducting these programs in South Sudan in Somalia. In fact, we had another shipment of this product called Nutributter that arrived in South Sudan just a couple of days ago.”
More than disaster relief, World concern helps communities build resilience to drought and famine. Archer says, “One of the terms we talk about now is ‘climate adaptation.’ How do we help communities adapt?”
One of World Concern’s methods is providing clean water. Archer says, “Rather than streams and wells drying up, we try to create greater sustainability that both helps people, but also help their animals. I think this is one thing that people don’t always understand, particularly about pastoral people, is that the animals are their livelihood.”
How to pray
How can Christians interact with such overwhelming need? It’s more than giving, Archer says. “Lean into the problem and say, ‘Lord, what do I need to learn from this? Is there a response you need from me?”
The header photo shows dead animals during an East African drought in 2011. (Photo courtesy of Oxfam East Africa, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)