Media Contact:Lauren Fisher
Seattle, WA, 8 November 2011 — As World Vision continues to provide assistance to children and families in the Horn of Africa, the Christian aid organization is calling on churches and individual Christians across America to raise awareness of the drought and famine in the region, and to pray daily for the critical needs of children throughout the month of November. With more than 13 million people in dire need across the drought-ravaged Horn of Africa, World Vision continues to distribute food and supplies, improve access to water and sanitation, as well as work to protect livelihoods through seed and livestock feed distributions and cash for work programs in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
On November 9 in particular, World Vision is inviting Americans to help raise awareness during a nationwide action day by sharing information about the crisis to their friends on Facebook and Twitter. The effort this week is part of USAID and the Ad Council’s “FWD” (Famine-War-Drought) Campaign, which World Vision has partnered with. The organization’s blog, at www.worldvision.org/blog, will post facts and prayer requests for easy sharing. Participants can also learn more at www.usaid.gov/fwd.
Spreading the news of the historic drought is crucial, according to World Vision, as more than half of Americans are still unaware of the hunger emergency in the Horn of Africa.
“Donations are urgently needed, but we also realize people can’t give if they aren’t aware there’s a crisis,” said Tim Sawer, Vice President with World Vision. “We’re asking churches and individuals to commit to pray for the children in the Horn of Africa, but also act by spreading the news so others can give, pray, and tell their friends and family as well.”
Beginning this week, World Vision is asking Christians to pray for the remainder of November using suggested prayer points for each day of the week. Donations for World Vision's relief efforts in the Horn of Africa can be made by visiting www.worldvision.org, calling 1-888-56-CHILD, or texting "4AFRICA" to 20222 to donate $10.
Mondays — Malnourished children. Limited rain and soaring food prices have resulted in dangerously high malnutrition rates, especially among young children. With levels of malnutrition reaching an estimated 35 percent throughout the Horn of Africa, children are prone to deadly diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and measles. Pray for God’s protection on these vulnerable boys and girls.
Tuesdays — People of Somalia. The situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate. Famine has spread to six areas in South Central Somalia and an estimated 750,000 people are at risk of death in the next few months if relief does not reach them. Pray for a breakthrough in ways aid organizations would be able to access the regions in Somalia where three quarters of a million people could starve to death.
Wednesdays — Internally displaced people and refugees. More than 600,000 people — mainly Somalis — have left their homes or pasturelands on foot in search of food and water. Camps along the Kenya-Somalia and Ethiopia-Somalia borders are swelling and new camps have sprung up northern Somalia. Already weakened by hunger, vulnerable children and the elderly arrive in these camps exhausted and sometimes suffering from disease. Pray that aid workers can quickly assess the needs of people arriving and get those who are severely malnourished, sick or injured the help they need.
Thursdays – End to drought. While rain has begun falling in some parts of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, and a forecast of normal rains throughout the region is expected through December, some areas are so dry that water is having a hard time absorbing into the ground, leaving communities vulnerable to waterborne disease and malaria. Pray that life-giving rains will fall at just the right time and in the right amounts, enabling food to grow and wells to fill without causing flooding or crop destruction.
Fridays — Delivery of emergency aid. Food aid is a key tool in addressing hunger and relief supplies can help people survive in the camps. Praise God for World Vision's ability to secure food aid grants and for donated gifts-in-kind supplies—like tents—that are helping families in the camps. Pray that aid is provided swiftly through the supply chain to communities needing it most.
Saturdays — Those causing conflict. Militant groups continue to deny access to famine-affected districts in south central Somalia, hindering life-saving aid from reaching millions of people. Children and families in these areas are in desperate need of help that may not reach them. Pray God will soften the hearts of those who would deny humanitarian aid to the suffering. Pray that they would lay down their weapons and allow safe access to aid workers.
Sundays — Governments and the international community. The nations directly impacted have asked for help from countries around the world. Meanwhile much of the international community is still grappling with consequences of the recent global recession. Ask the Lord to help government leaders in the affected countries know how to best use donations that come from abroad. Also ask Him to impart a spirit of generosity to the leaders of wealthier nations like the United State so they will provide aid to effectively help children and families caught in this crisis.
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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit www.worldvision.org/press.