Over the past several weeks, I have watched and listened closely to the numerous reports trickling in about the crisis in Somalia and the other tiny nations clustered in the “Horn of Africa.” Lines of refugees, women with crying babies wrapped in their arms, and soldiers with machine guns are sights far too common for this area of the world.
It has been estimated that more than 11 million people in Somalia and surrounding nations are in desperate need of food and water. The al-Qaeda-linked extremist group, al-Shabaab, is not allowing foreign aid to be distributed to the people and has closed Somalia’s borders to nearly every aid organization except for the United Nations and a few others. Thousands are fleeing into Kenya, Ethiopia, and southern Sudan often walking for weeks just to find some semblance of hope.
When the U.N. officially declared a famine (a term reserved only for the most desperate of situations) in several regions of Somalia last week, my heart sank. I knew we must do everything in our power to bring relief for the hungry and thirsty, and hope for the desperate.
Since 1999, World Help has sent 40 containers of humanitarian aid to Africa, a total value of over $60 million worth of food, medical supplies and equipment, clothing, and much more. Most important, however, these supplies have helped impact nearly 3 million lives.
We are currently preparing two 40-foot containers filled with 83,000 pounds of canned salmon, nutrition-packed soup mix, and other nonperishable foods for distribution by our partners on the ground in Kenya. With the influx of thousands of refugees into Kenya, this is the most accessible and strategic place to disperse these life-saving supplies without them falling into the hands of al-Shabaab.
I was in this region only a few short months ago, visiting the notorious Kenyan slum, Kibera. Despite the misery and destitution I saw, I am still reminded of the faces of the street children I met. While their small bellies bulged with hunger, their eyes glowed with the hope for something better. Ever since those days I spent in Kibera, I have not been able to keep the people of Eastern Africa out of my mind.
Seeing firsthand the hope restored in a mother’s eyes when she is handed a package of food to sustain her family, is why we will continue to serve the needs of people in crisis and disaster situations. Whether through a cup of water or a bag of rice, Christ’s love is being proclaimed.
Please join me in praying for the millions affected by the crisis in the Horn of Africa.
If you would like to make a charitable gift toward the cost of our upcoming container shipments, simply click here to give online.
To find out more about the famine in Somalia, read Crisis in the Horn of Africa.