ELCIC National Bishop Urges Prime Minister to Increase Financial Commitment to Support Relief Efforts in the Horn of Africa

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson is urging the Prime Minister to, "respond effectively and generously" to appeals from the United Nations and NGOs for aid to countries in the Horn of Africa, and calling for support from the Canadian Government so that the "important work of facing this crisis can continue."

In an August 24 letter to The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Bishop Johnson notes that a long term commitment by many people and agencies is required as the crisis, "will not end quickly and immediate disaster response is not enough."

"The effects of the drought will be ongoing at least until December, and will likely spread further through the region," says Bishop Johnson. "Even after the drought is over, we have to prepare for mid-term and longer-term solutions for rehabilitation, climate change adaptation, and disaster preparedness. As well, the ongoing violence and instability in Somalia need to be addressed."

Addressing the request for financial assistant in light of current economic realities Bishop Johnson says, "we are aware that vast amounts of money were raised to rescue the global financial industry. It is now time to rescue human beings in the Horn of Africa."

Read the full text from Bishop Johnson’s letter to the Prime Minister here: https://www.elcic.ca/Documents/LettertoPMonHornofAfrica201108.pdf

The lack of rain in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya has created food and water shortages that threaten the lives of 11 million people. The World Food Program reports that tens of thousands of Somalis have died from starvation. Thousands more Somalis suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, and exhaustion arrive in Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps every day seeking aid, swelling the camps far beyond their capacity and causing a major strain on resources.

In July, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) 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.

To date, Lutherans across Canada have donated almost $220,000 to the appeal. 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.

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.

Donations can be made in the following ways:


  1. ELCIC members are asked to donate to the appeal by making a designated offering donation for “2011 East Africa Drought” through their ELCIC congregation.
  2. 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.”
  3. By calling CLWR’s toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
  4. 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.

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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