U.N. officials call the crisis in Niger a “silent famine”—the result of severe drought and locusts that destroyed crops in 2004.
To help the estimated 3.6 million people (30 percent of Niger’s population) affected, the ELCA sent an initial $40,000 to Action by Churches Together. Lutheran World Relief and ACT provide emergency food for families so weakened by hunger they can’t plant next year’s crops using the few seeds they haven’t eaten. Diarrhea threatens people who are weak from surviving on leaves and rainwater. Mothers don’t have enough milk for their babies.
LWR and ACT also plan to provide 10 tons of seed stock, repair five existing grain banks and build 30 new ones. “We ask members of the ELCA to pray for people affected by the famine in Niger and to pray for rain that enables farmers to produce food for their families,” said Belletech Deressa, ELCA Division for Global Mission.
Donations can be sent to: ELCA International Disaster Response, Box 71764, Chicago, IL 60694-1764; www.elca.org/giving.
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