By Sam Eyoboka
The World Council of Churches (WCC), World Evangelical Alliance and All Africa Conference of Churches, along with a coalition of other partners, are promoting June 10, as the second annual Global Day of Prayer to End Famine.
Eastern Africa, the horn of Africa, Yemen and north east Nigeria continue to be gripped by a devastating food crisis. Across these regions, 30 million people are experiencing shocking levels of hunger.
“But that famine is only the tip of the iceberg of food insecurity that is experienced globally. In 2017, almost 124 million people across 51 countries and territories faced crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse.
“Unfortunately there was a funding gap of 29 per cent of the amount required. Inadequate action and response in this most massive hunger emergency in the world will lead to untold misery, malnutrition, and deaths. The United Nations estimates that as many as 1.4 million children could die of starvation in the coming months,” a statement by WCC said.
The easy way out of the situation is to refer the problem back to the people or communities who are in need, reflected Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary.
“We often hear responses from ourselv-es, to people who are in desperate sit-uations and are hungry and thirsty, ask-ing: ‘Why didn’t you prepare for the hard times? Haven’t you saved any money? Why don’t you stop fighting each other?’”
But 30 million people facing the risk of famine need more from the rest of the world, Tveit urged. “You give them something to eat. That is what Jesus commands us to do.”
Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar of the National Council of Churches of India, and chair of the Strategy Group of the Food for Life Campaign of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, added: “It is not necessarily out of our plenty, that we are asked to give.
“We are called to share what we have, regardless of our situation. We are not to worry if the little we provide is enough for everyone in need. Together, we can transform hunger to satiety and plenty!” it added.