Taking a lead role in emergency food supplies

By March 11, 2015
(Photo courtesy World Renew)

(Photo courtesy World Renew)

Central Africa Republic (WorldRenew/MNN) — Insecurity is growing in a nation already plagued by poverty. The Central African Republic is a land-locked country in Central Africa where more than 60% of the population is making their living as subsistence farmers. For the past two years, this country has also been beset by violence.

Rebel groups have been fighting for control of the country and have carried out a series of extreme violent attacks in their campaigns. Hatred, killing, looting, and burning of villages has become normal in the country.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 438,000 people have been displaced from their homes, and that of the 4.6 million residents in CAR, 2.5 million (54%) are in need of humanitarian assistance; many of these are children.

With violence parading through the country, it has affected many of the crops. Jacqueline Koster, World Renew Program Manager, said, “CAR is a country that faced many challenges over the years. With this current crisis, food is becoming more difficult to raise or to buy. People are eating less. When they do eat, they are consuming less of highly nutritious foods such as beans, fruits and vegetables. This is leading to an increase in malnutrition.”

Though it seems like malnutrition could be on the rise, many organizations are stepping forward to make sure it doesn’t. World Renew is one of them.

While the ministry doesn’t have a history of working in CAR, it is a member of the Foods Resource Bank–a collaboration of 16 U.S. churches who work together to fight global hunger. FRB has been funding a local partner in CAR for more than 5 years, and World Renew is now supporting that partner to carry out an emergency response to assist those experiencing increased malnutrition.

The Central for Experimentation and Training in Agriculture (CEFA) is a national non-profit organization in CAR that was created to help small farmers improve their ability to grow enough food to support their families. Their focus has been researching and training on new farming methods that can introduce higher quality crops and animals into CAR farming. Because of the civil war taking place in the country, CEFA has now been taking a lead role in getting food to refugees.

In Jesus’ name, World Renew and CEFA will provide emergency food supplies such as rice, beans, oil, sugar, salt, and sardines to 580 people for four months. Two hundred and fifty households will also receive training on improving agricultural practices so they can replenish their fields and grow new crops for the next harvest season.

“Our world is so beset by violence these days with what’s going on in Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria that people have hardly noticed the plight of the people in CAR,” said Koster. “As Christians, we need to respond wherever there is need. While this response is small compared to the needs in the country, we are praying that its impact on the households it reaches will be enough to help families until peace returns”.

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