Zimbabwe faces food crisis

By December 18, 2008

Zimbabwe
(MNN) — The United Nations recently predicted that 5.1 million Zimbabweans
will need emergency food aid during the first three months of 2009.  Eight members of the Canadian Foodgrains
Bank (CFGB), including the CRWRC, are planning to help.

The CFGB, a partnership of Canadian church-based agencies
working to end hunger in developing countries, is getting ready to send 10,000
tons of corn, soy, oil, and ground nuts to feed about 120,000 of Zimbabwe's
poorest families for five months.  The
food will sustain the families until the next harvest, in May of 2009. 

"It is important to respond as quickly as possible to the
immediate needs so that people have the strength to carry on until the next
harvest," said CFGB Executive Director Jim Cornelius. "It is also very important to support
communities in their ongoing efforts to develop lasting solutions and feed
themselves."

The CFGB is releasing US $7 million to fund the project,
which the United Church of Canada will oversee in partnership with Christian
Care Zimbabwe. CRWRC is contributing $20 million to the
project, making a total of $100,000 available after that money is matched by
the Canadian International Development Agency. 

The CRWRC is the relief and development arm of the Christian
Reformed Church, which participated in a Pan-African Day of Solidarity for Zimbabwe with
the Global Call to action Against Poverty (G-CAP). G-CAP called for an
independent commission to investigate human rights abuses, posting of human
rights monitors, solutions through reconciliation and dialog, restoration of an
independent judiciary, and accountability for security forces and law
enforcement agencies.

Zimbabwe's
many problems were exacerbated by a recent cholera outbreak.  Hundreds of people have already died, and 14,000
people were infected at the beginning of last week. Unchecked diseases, agricultural problems,
and a declining economy are likely to cause one of the world's worst food
crises in the next months, according to CFGB. 

CRWRC and the CRC are committed to shining the light of the Gospel in the darkness of Zimbabwe. In July 2008, the CRC's Board of Trustees
adopted a resolution that expressed "solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe
and, in particular, those Christian leaders who …live the Gospel of love in the
face of hatred and violence."

To contribute emergency food aid for Zimbabwe's poor, click here and select "Zimbabwe Emergency 2008" in the "Disaster" category. 

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