Kenya (MNN) — More than 13 million people are currently
threatened by the effects of drought in the Horn of Africa The drought has driven up food prices and
weakened livestock, thus increasing malnutrition, hunger, and famine.
Jeff Palmer with Baptist Global Response says, "The good news is that the rains have
started in a number of those areas. But in a drought place where we're doing
food dispersal, one of the things that we're trying to get around now is the
rains–it's hindering getting the food in."
In the meantime, BGR
partners began a food distribution in
northern Kenya. "They're still going to be months away from any kind
of harvest, but at least it shows some sign of breaking from this two- to three-year drought that they've been in."
Palmer says the Horn of Africa's long-term cycles of severe
hunger have been sharpened by decades of failed crops, economic crises, and
climatic changes. As a result, the people there are suffering through the worst drought since 1951. "The one project that we just
approved will run as a three-month project. It won't be in the major
camps that you're seeing on the news. We're finding the marginalized areas–places that kind of fall outside of the main distributions of people that have
fallen through the cracks."
BGR teams use the opportunities to build
relationships. "They're motivated
by the needs of people and their love for Christ. They're people that we've
worked with for years that have a heart for sharing their faith."
Southern Baptist hunger projects in the Horn and eastern
Africa have totaled more than $250,000 just in the past two years, and Southern
Baptists now are mobilizing to meet even more of the need among the 11 million
people estimated to be at risk. "Pray
that the rains would hold up enough for us to get the convoy in…but then keep
on praying, too, that the rains would continue, that people can get back to
farming, and that they can get back to planting some of their own food."
Donations to the World Hunger Fund will help provide food
relief to families in the Horn of Africa suffering in this crisis. Baptist
Global Response works with national partners and humanitarian workers on the
ground to design projects with complete accountability for the use of funds. 100%
given to the World Hunger Fund is used 100% to help hungry people.