National Lutheran News

Starvation stalks Africa

Lutheran World Relief and its partner agencies are coming to the rescue.

Lutheran World Relief (LWR), which recently sent similar assistance to Malawi and Kenya, is working with two more partners in Africa to respond to dangerous food shortages in Zim-babwe and Ethiopia.

Nearly 11 million people in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia are threatened with starvation and need immediate assistance, according to the latest information from Action by Churches Together (ACT). Most families in Zimbabwe have resorted to one meal a day, which is having profound nutritional effects on children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

In Zimbabwe, LWR, supported jointly by ELCA and LCMS, is helping to provide healthful food to more than 50,000 malnourished children. LWR’s partner, Lutheran Development Service through ACT, also is distributing food rations to more than 11,000 families as part of a food-for-work program. It is providing seeds for drought-tolerant crops that will help those families in the next planting season.

LWR is assisting with the needs of more than 170,000 people affected by Ethiopia’s ten years of drought. With LWR’s support through ACT, the Joint Relief Partnership (JRP) will distribute food immediately to more than 135,000 people. It also will distribute seeds and tools to some 16,000 poor farmers, as well as goats and sheep to 1,000 women, and medicines to 20,000 people.

LWR and the JRP also will help Ethiopians build springs, hand-dug wells, and ponds, and will conduct workshops to share (with farmers and communities) ways to cope with the devastating effects of drought.

Previously, LWR helped Zimbabwe deal with its emergencies by delivering some $70,000 worth of clothing and quilts provided by U.S. Lutherans.

Lutheran World Relief urges people to pray for the health of all whose lives are affected by the drought-caused food emergencies in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Kenya, and for all who are working to address the severe food shortages.

LWR encourages donors to consider making an unrestricted donation, which will enable the agency to use the funds where they’re most needed.

Donations may be made by credit card via the 800-number, on-line or by check. You may designate your gift: “Africa Crisis.”

Contact information: Luther-an World Relief, P.O. Box 17061 Baltimore, MD 21298-9832. 1-800-LWR-LWR2. www.lwr.org.