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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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July 21, 2011

Crisis in the Horn of Africa

Some 10 million people in the Horn of Africa face a severe food crisis and could starve following a prolonged drought. "In some areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda, drought conditions are the worst in 60 years, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in an update."

On July 20, the United Nations "declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia owing to the worst drought in decades, and appealed for urgent resources to assist millions of people in desperate need of help."

The crisis has resulted in a significant increase in the number of new arrivals in Dadaab refugee camp, run by ACT Alliance, on the Kenya-Somalia border.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has a situation report about the Horn of Africa. The BBC also provides an overview of the situation and its causes. UNICEF offers information on how the crisis impacts children.

ACT Alliance (of which Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is a member) is planning an appeal for the affected regions in the Horn of Africa. ACT is an alliance of 111 churches and church-related organizations that work together in humanitarian assistance and development.

O God,
the ground is parched,
the food is limited and costly,
and your children, our brothers and sisters,
hunger, sicken, and die
in the Horn of Africa.
O God,
strengthen our sisters and brothers who hunger;
comfort our brothers and sisters who grieve;
accompany our sisters and brothers who leave their homes.
O God,
we give thanks for aid workers who
distribute food and water,
create and maintain camps for refugees and displaced persons,
and extend caring hands.
O God,
touch the hearts of people and nations,
fill us with a desire to reach out in compassion and justice,

grant wisdom and vision to those

in the Horn of Africa and around the world

that we might discern effective ways to respond to our brothers and sisters.
O God,

help us structure our living so that
all people in all places
might have enough of the abundance you provide
even in times of drought and hardship.
Inspire us and guide us, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Categories: Compassion, Disaster, Ethiopia, Justice, Kenya, Prayer, UNICEF, United Nations

Tags: act alliance, djibouti, drought, famine, horn of africa, hunger, kenya, ocha, presbyterian disaster assistance, somalia, united nations


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