November designated as ‘Month of Prayer’ for Horn of Africa

World Vision invites the American public to pray, give, and tell others about the needs of drought-affected children in East Africa.

Edited by Shawna Templeton. Photo by Jon Warren.
Published November 9, 2011 at 12:00am PST

As drought and famine continue to plague children and families in the Horn of Africa, World Vision is asking churches and individuals across the United States to raise awareness and pray daily for those affected, throughout the month of November.

November 9: A national day of awareness

On November 9, World Vision is asking Americans to help spread the word about the crisis, as part of a nationwide action day. Participants are encouraged to share information about the crisis with their friends via Facebook and Twitter.

The awareness effort is part of the FWD campaign (Famine-War-Drought Relief), sponsored by USAID and the Ad Council, of which World Vision is a partner. On the World Vision Blog, readers can find facts about the Horn of Africa food crisis for easy sharing.

Spreading the news is crucial, says World Vision’s Tim Sawer, 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,” explains Sawer. “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.”

Pray daily for the Horn of Africa

World Vision asks Christians to pray for the remainder of November, using these suggested prayer points for each day of the week.

Mondays: Pray for 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: Pray for the 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: Pray for 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 in 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 help for those who are severely malnourished, sick, or injured.

Thursdays: Pray for an 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 the ground is having a hard time absorbing water, 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: Pray for the 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: Pray for 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 that 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: Pray for 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 States, so they will provide aid to effectively help children and families caught in this crisis.

World Vision’s work in the Horn of Africa

With more than 13 million people in dire need, we continue to distribute food and supplies, improve access to water and sanitation, and work to protect livelihoods through seed and livestock feed distributions and cash-for-work programs in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Read more about our work in this region.

Other ways to help

Make a one-time gift to our Horn of Africa Food Crisis Fund. Your donation will multiply up to five times in impact to help deliver assistance like emergency food aid, clean water, agricultural support, medical care, and more to those whose lives are at risk from this crisis.

Share. You can also help by sharing information about this humanitarian emergency with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. You or your friends can donate via mobile by texting “4AFRICA” to 20222 to donate $10.

Speak out. Urge our legislators to prioritize the needs of those suffering from hunger.