Burkina Faso (MNN) — The UN says Burkina Faso will run out of food in September. An existing food shortage causes many to suffer from malnutrition. Thousands of refugees have entered the country to escape escalating violence in Mali, making the problem worse. Michael Jeter with Christian World Outreach says people are now stuck between a rock and a hard place.
"They have to decide really, what is more important?" Jeter explains. "This one day of cultivating their farm or actually going and getting medicine?"
The UN estimates that over 100,000 Mali refugees are scattered across Burkina Faso, with between 30 and 50 Malians crossing the border each week. Jeter mentions a friend who witnessed this mass migration first-hand.
"He said he had about 10,000 people roll into his church compound [in] just one week," recounts Jeter.
This massive influx of people has completely drained the food supply in Burkina Faso, a supply exasperated by drought and a severely poor harvest. For many, this ongoing lack of food leads to malnutrition, a severe physical condition requiring medical care. Most people simply "go without" the medicine they need, either because they lack access to these resources or the money to pay for them.
To alleviate this massive need, Jeter and his team operate a mobile medical clinic, working alongside churches to take care of those who are suffering the most. They provide free examinations and medical treatments to Malian refugees. Using mobile, case-by-case methods allows Jeter and his team to share the Gospel in a more personal way.
"It really allows us to be more one-on-one," he shares. "Our evangelism team can even pray with everybody that we're treating because we're operating on a smaller scale."
Because they lack funding, Jeter and his team can only do medical outreaches once a month. Two or three dollars can help the clinic operate more often and reach more people. Click here if you can help.