Church leaders launch Call to Action for famine victims

Church leaders launch Call to Action for famine victims

Ecumenical faith leaders in Africa have launched a Call to Action and Appeal for the people affected by famine in the Horn of Africa.

The move came after a two-day meeting in Nairobi led by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa and involving the All Africa Council of Churches the Lutheran World Federation, WCC-EHAIA, FECCLAHA, LWF, OAIC, WSCF, EAA, ACT Alliance and World Vision, brought together by the Anglican Alliance for development relief and advocacy.

As the first Africa regional ecumenical and interdenominational gathering in response to the food insecurity and humanitarian crisis, the group paid tribute to the heroic work of the humanitarian agencies, churches and others who had saved millions of lives working in difficult circumstances to meet the needs of people fleeing drought, famine and war.

And the meeting issued a Call to Action to:

  • The international community to meet the US$1.4 billion humanitarian funding gap; provide the necessary technical support to meet the needs of the affected population, especially women and children and ensure that global food security is given a high priority at the G20 meeting in France in November. Food aid is no substitute for food security.
  • The UN to give higher priority to the policies to provide sustainable food supplies, and to work with the Arab League to address the root causes of the conflict which has affected the region for so long.
  • The African Union to bring forward its donor conference, increase budgetary support for agriculture, and bring forward strategies to address the crisis affecting the refugees in the region, and ensure that there is safe passage for humanitarian purposes.

The faith leaders also committed their churches to long term support for people and communities affected by drought and famine.

Launching the Appeal, the Most Rev. Ian Ernest, Chairman of CAPA and Archbishop of the Province of the Indian Ocean, said, “In showing solidarity and support to our brothers and sister affected by the current crisis, we the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) hereby launch an appeal for financial aid from all good people and well wishers.

“This appeal will be used to support local partners that are working in the affected areas. Because our intention is not only to deal with immediate needs, but to find long term solutions. This appeal will extend up to the end of 2012.”

The famine in the Horn of Africa is the worst for 60 years.

Over 12 million people are in crisis and a million children need urgent help. Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are being overwhelmed by people fleeing hunger, thirst and war.

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