Foodgrains Bank Calls Canadians to Pray to End Famine

Friday, May 12, 2017

Over $2.5 million provided for hunger relief in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia since beginning of year

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is inviting Canadians to join Christians around the world in a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on May 21.

The call for a Global Day of Prayer comes from the All-Africa Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches, which invites Christians to “join together across countries, languages and traditions to respond to the global hunger crisis.”

Noting that over 20 million people are in danger of starvation in parts of South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen, the two bodies, in partnership with many Christian churches and organizations, are calling on Christians to open their hearts through prayer, to pray for an end to hunger in these countries, and for an end to the conflicts contributing to these crises.

“Churches have a prophetic role in calling to mobilize their members, the wider society, and governments, and making a difference during this unprecedented period of suffering,” they state, adding that “food is more than a human right; it is a divine gift that cannot be impeded.”

“I imagine that many of those facing hunger could very well be feeling forsaken and abandoned,” says Foodgrains Bank Executive Director Jim Cornelius in emphasizing the importance of remembering and standing in solidarity through prayer.

“Except for the occasional media report, very little is being shared with the public about their terrible plight.”

“As a Christian, I am reminded that when challenges—including massive global challenges—seem overwhelming, one thing we must do is pray, opening our hearts to the needs of others,” he adds. “And then we need to get on with the work of responding.”

Resources to help congregations and individuals pray can be found on the Global Day of Prayer site  and on the Foodgrains Bank site.

Since January 2017, the Foodgrains Bank has been responding to the hunger emergencies in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia with over $2.5 million worth of assistance, and more must and will be done.

In South Sudan, where millions have been displaced due to civil conflict, Foodgrains Bank is responding through its members ADRA Canada and World Relief Canada. Development & Peace—Caritas Canada, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Presbyterian World Service & Development, Primate’s World Relief & Development Fund and World Renew are also contributing to this response.

In northern Nigeria, where many households have been displaced due to attacks from the militant group Boko Harma, Foodgrains Bank member World Renew, with financial support from Mennonite Central Committee Canada, is distributing food to households facing severe hunger.

And in Somalia, ADRA Canada and Emergency Relief & Development Overseas are providing emergency food assistance to families affected by severe drought. The drought is killing off the livestock herds many people depend up on for their livelihoods. Canadian Lutheran World Relief, the Christian & Missionary Alliance, The United Church of Canada, and World Relief Canada are also supporting these programs.

People who want to donate to help people caught in this food crisis can do so here.

–Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator