Lutheran church workers provide supplemental food for this child (name withheld for security reasons) and other patients at mission hospitals in Zimbabwe.
“Some of the medical staff are collapsing from hunger, but patients at least get something to eat,” said Benyam Kassahun, ELCA Global Mission. “[In the larger society] people are now eating roots and leaves. But it will be worse next year.”
That’s because a seed shortage threatens crop production in 2009, said Megan Bradfield, assistant director for ELCA International Disaster Response. She said 2 million Zimbabweans are vulnerable due to “poor crop production, world-record hyperinflation that eroded purchasing power and a monthlong ban on humanitarian aid.”
The ELCA works with Action by Churches Together and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe to provide relief in urban and rural areas.
The government is now allowing into the country emergency relief that includes food, seeds, fertilizers and equipment.
To help: ELCA International Disaster Response, PO Box 71764, Chicago, IL 60694-1764; 800-638-3522.
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