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Churches Act to End Famine

Christian World Service invites churches, organisations and individuals of all faiths to join a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on Sunday, 21 May. The World Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches initiated the global effort in response to a growing global hunger crisis that is affecting millions of the world’s people.

Last week Wadalla Peter from Maridi Service Agency reported, “Many people are going without a meal in a day. Government employees have not been paid for four months. People survive the hard way. They struggle to find a little to feed their families.” Food prices have risen 800%. MSA can only provide two meals a week at its two nursery schools – a 50kg bag of maize meal now costs NZ$107.

In February, the UN declared famine in two states of South Sudan, and 20 million people are living on the edge of starvation in north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Communities in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda are also malnourished.

The United Nations predicts 5.5 million South Sudanese - 47% of the population will be hungry by July. Already 1.8 million have fled to neighbouring countries – one million are children. The UN has cut food rations in Uganda host to 898,000 South Sudanese refugees and is appealing for new funding.

“The combination of conflict, prolonged drought and poverty is taking a terrible toll. People are living on a knife-edge. Without greatly increased financial support and protection, the outlook for many is very bleak,” says National Director Pauline McKay.

Famine is a technical term – when 30% of a population is severely malnourished and at least two people out of every 10,000 die every day.

Donations to the South Sudan Famine Appeal will fund MSA’s support for mothers displaced by hunger and conflict with emergency supplies and start-up funds for small businesses and ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) for relief support in Unity and Bahr el Ghazal states.

An order of service, prayers, suggested hymns, a PowerPoint, and other information are available for this global event. CWS has prepared a bulletin insert and there is a short video available.

In supporting this day, CWS is asking churches to hold an offering for the South Sudan Famine Appeal. Funds raised will provide emergency food, commodity vouchers and tools for agriculture as well as livelihood support to displaced people. If you can, please help save lives by supporting this appeal.

Donations to can be made:

On line to the South Sudan Famine Appeal and by direct deposit

• By Phone with a credit card: 0800 74 73 72

• By Post to: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140

CWS is a member of ACT Alliance a global coalition of 140 churches and church-related organisations working together on humanitarian, development and advocacy in over 100 countries.

17 May 2017