The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge has made an urgent appeal for prayer and financial support from the Lutheran communion to assist with relief efforts in the drought affected region of the Horn of Africa.
In a letter to LWF member churches and national committees following an LWF delegation to the region at the beginning of August, Junge said the world is facing a crisis in which more than 12 million lives in the region are at risk due to drought, said to be the worst in 60 years, and conflict.
Junge called on Lutherans worldwide to pray for refugees and displaced persons in the Horn of Africa, as well as those seeking to help them, including the staff of government, international and non-governmental organizations. He also called for financial support of the work in the region, and urged members to appeal to their governments to respond to the United Nations appeal for the Horn of Africa, which has a 1.3 billion dollar shortfall. Read the full letter from Junge here (https://www.elcic.ca/Documents/LettertoMemberChurchesHornofAfrica.pdf).
In July, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), which is a member of LWF, issued an appeal, through its partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), for financial support to assist relief efforts for drought affected people in East Africa.
ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson also called for prayers for all those impacted in the region. In April, Bishop Johnson travelled to Ethiopia and saw first hand the devastating effects the lack of rain, dry conditions and land erosion has had on the region. She was also able to witness the impact that the effective work of CLWR and LWF World Service has made in addressing these needs. "It is important that we assist our brothers and sisters by donating to this appeal so this vital work can continue," says Bishop Johnson.
CLWR has worked in Africa for years on food and water security projects. Funds donated to the CLWR appeal will provide support in the region in the following ways:
- Distributing over $1.5 million of food (1,900 tons) in Ethiopia in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Ethiopia. This large-scale emergency food aid project is responding to immediate needs for relief in the drought stricken district of Goro, a district in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Over 18,000 people will benefit from the distribution.
- Through their partnership with the LWF, in supporting refugee camps in the region. The LWF-managed Dadaab camp in Kenya is hosting over 1,300 new arrivals per day, most from Somalia. LWF camp interventions include the distribution of nine tons of flour mix for supplementary feeding of children and the elderly; the distribution of clothes, slippers, and sanitary wear for women; and regular water deliveries using a 7,000-litre truck.
- Providing assistance to people still in Somalia, specifically to newly displaced people in Mogadishu and to those affected by drought in the Gedo region. This support is administered through partnership with the ACT Alliance and will include the distribution of food, water, sanitation, and shelter.
“We have extreme confidence in our experienced partners on the ground in East Africa,” says Robert Granke, CLWR’s executive director. “We know every donation sent to CLWR will be used wisely and will save lives.”All donations designated for East Africa Drought Relief received by CLWR before the end of the day September 16, 2011 will qualify for matching federal government grants.
Donations can be made in the following ways:
- ELCIC members are asked to donate to the appeal by making a designated offering donation for “2011 East Africa Drought” through their ELCIC congregation.
- Online at www.clwr.org/donate. When completing the form, you will come to a pull-down menu that allows you to designate a specific project. Choose “2011 East Africa Drought.”
- By calling CLWR’s toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
- By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate that you wish to contribute to East Africa drought relief.
(With files from Lutheran World Information.)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
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