Since the news cycle is not reporting on this, you might not know:
As you are reading this post, there are families in Africa who do not know where they may find their next meal. Grandparents, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters are all currently experiencing the pangs of hunger due to ongoing drought and in some areas, violent conflict. Cattle have died, water has dried up, and crops have failed. Outside assistance is absolutely necessary in these countries, and lives are literally at stake.
In order to provide emergency food, we need you. You can make hope possible for these families right now by donating online here, and choosing "Africa Famine Relief 2017" as your designation.
IDES has already sent funding to our mission partners in Kenya to provide emergency food. But the crisis is much more widespread. We have also been working with our mission partners in South Sudan, Somalia, Niger, and Tanzania -- each of which is currently experiencing famine-level crises. Kenya and Tanzania are currently the areas where we need the most funding.
According to the UN, "famine" is defined as: "20 percent of households must face food shortages, rates of acute malnutrition must exceed 30 percent, and mortality must exceed two deaths per 10,000 persons per day." IDES is working with partners on the ground in these countries who are serving over 20,000 people in total. For 20,000 people, this definition implies that more than 4 people could die every day. At one week, that is over 28 people who could perish. At one month, that is over 120 people who could perish. It only gets worse. These are dramatic, but very real numbers.
But, we must remember that these numbers are people, with faces, names, and life stories.
In these countries, the primary source of income is farming. They are "pastoral" people groups, meaning they rely upon agriculture for their subsistence. Despite the fact that there are regular dry seasons, the UN and WFP report that, "...in recent years, the droughts have become less predictable and more severe, straining civilians' capacity to adapt." When there is no water, the crops fail. Next, the cattle die. Then, when what little food was initially available runs out, family members begin perishing (FEWS.net).
We cannot over-stress how dire this situation is, and the fact that it is getting worse. You can make a difference by generously contributing online, right here, and choosing "Africa Famine Relief 2017" as your designation.
According to the UN and WFP, the situations in certain areas of these countries are even more complex due to neighboring violence and civil war. Limiting access to food is sometimes used as a weapon against civilians.
IDES' mission partners are working tirelessly to help the people in their areas, but resources are very limited.
Now is the time to act, and to come alongside them to show these families that we do care, that God has not forgotten them, and that there is hope. As in Acts 4:34-35, when every person in need was taken care of by Jesus-followers, and in Acts 11:27-30, when the disciples assisted those affected by the famine, we have an opportunity before us to serve in Jesus' name.
Will you help feed these hungry families in Jesus' name? Just click the button below to be taken to our online donation form. Choose "Africa Famine Relief 2017" in the dropdown box of the "Designation" field at the bottom of the form, or write "Africa Famine 2017" in the memo-line of your check.
If you cannot currently give, you can still help by sharing this article on your social media profiles to spread the word.