3 Things to Know About the Famine in Africa

June 14, 2017 by Janelle P in Africa

Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ live in Africa, and some of them are starving to death.

This famine has been deemed the, “largest humanitarian crisis in the history of the United Nations.”

Famine and hunger is affecting 20 million people throughout Africa. Famine is declared when all of these criteria are met: 20% of households in an area face extreme food shortages, more than 30% of children suffer acute malnutrition, and hunger causes 2 or more deaths each day per every 10,000 people.

The numbers and severity hit hard. One thing is for sure- although this crisis is happening (literally) halfway around the world, there are things you should know as a believer and there are ways you can get involved with the solution. Here’s what you should know:

1.What is the source?

The source of the famine is a complex mixture of regional conflict, drought that has continued for years, and high food prices that followed the droughts. Extreme poverty and lack of basic infrastructure has only made their need more desperate.

The UN has used the term “man-made” famine applied to the current famine in Africa. Unlike most other famines, this famine is not the direct result of a simple drought or natural disaster. This famine is primarily caused by war and economic collapse.

2. Where is the famine happening?

In Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, about 20 million people need food assistance, included is more than 3.5 million children suffering severe malnutrition.

Sudan’s crisis has been mainly brought about by civil war since 2013. The oil-rich country gained independence, and yet peace agreements and ceasefires were ignored. Three years of violence have pushed families to the edge of survival.

184 children die each day in Nigeria from causes related to malnutrition. Nigeria’s crisis is highly concentrated in Borno State, where Boko Haram has crippled the region. (You may remember Borno State from where the Chibok girls were taken from their school in 2014).

Food insecurity has also hit entire communities in Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon and Yemen. These staggering numbers will only continue to rise without help.

3. Does religion play a part in this?

Islamic insurgents Boko Haram have contributed to bringing about the famine. The presence of these insurgents has prevented farmers from planting crops or accessing water sources. Fishermen have also been prevented from getting to lakes. They have killed thousands and forced more than 2 million from their homes. This has disrupted an already shaky economy.

The group is an Islamic extremist one, purposing to forbid Western education, which is often linked with Christianity. They are influenced by a phrase from the Quran: “Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors.”

How can I help? Declaring a “famine” does not force any government to take action, but rather will hopefully serve as a wake-up call to the world about the reality at hand. In Nigeria alone, 5 million people are in urgent need of food assistance, so we are asking you to partner with us to save the lives of 3,000 families.

Through local partners, Open Doors works to assist persecuted Christians in Nigeria with emergency relief, trauma care, Bibles, discipleship training, church and building restoration, vocational training, orphan support and more. Working with local churches, we will get these Food Survival Kits to those in urgent need.

Help save families in Nigeria suffering from the famine. Provide Food Survival Kits to help those in urgent need. Each Kit costs $123 to provide and will feed a starving family for two months.

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