Tearfund calls for prayer to end hunger
Published 24 July 2012
Tearfund is appealing to Christians to pray for the millions of people around the world going hungry today.
East Africa has been blighted by famine for the last year, with Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and South Sudan all receiving emergency aid.
Some 2.3 million people have been helped by the £79 million raised by the Disasters Emergencies Committee (DEC) appeal launched last year.
Tearfund, a DEC member, has assisted more than 200,000 thousand people in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia over the last year.
"Of course, we’ve been working through local churches and partner organisations in East Africa for many years but in the last year we’ve had to increase our efforts to help parents feed their children," says David Bainbridge, Tearfund’s International Director.
"We’re grateful to God and our supporters for the generous donations we received last summer, and for the funds we’re receiving now from people who are concerned about the escalating hunger in West Africa.
"Increasing food prices and climate change are affecting all of us, and particularly those living in poor countries, meaning that millions of people around the world don’t have enough food to live. There is enough food for everyone, but one in seven people will go to bed hungry tonight."
Two people receiving assistance from Tearfund are Ato Harkiso Asale and his wife Banatal. The couple are in their 70s and have been hard hit by the drought in Ethiopia. When the rains dried up, the couple were down to one bowl of cassava a day. Tearfund is financially supporting their local church, which was then able to give Ato and Banatal cash for six months so that they could rebuild their strength and their diet. Now they are able to eat three meals a day once again.
Banatal says: "Our life has been changed because of the church. We hope God will never forsake us."
Other people in their community have been helped through cash for work schemes that see them doing jobs like tree planting and terrace building that will also make their communities more resilient to extreme weather.
"We’re not out of the woods yet," says Mr Bainbridge.
"‘We’re expecting poor harvests in Kenya because of long rains and crop failure in the southern lowlands, so we’ll continue to support communities in East Africa to be more resistant to future unpredictable rainfall.
"At the same time, over in West Africa, families in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali are telling us that they are having to feed their children leaves because there isn’t any proper food to eat.
"It feels too big to comprehend, but we believe in a big God who calls us to be part of the work he is doing."
He added: "Without the prayers and donations of Christians in the UK, we wouldn’t have been able to help Ato and Banatal.
"Please join with us in praying for an end to hunger, and for a fairer world for everyone."
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