On January 18, a U.N. humanitarian facility in Ngala, Borno State, Nigeria, on the border with Cameroon, was violently attacked by nonstate armed groups. The aid workers there were providing assistance to more than 55,000 people facing famine conditions.
Right now, we are living in a global context of increasing migration and displacement due to war and violent conflicts, as well as extreme hunger and famine.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) calls for renewed prayers for victims of global conflicts and for actions that will create a peaceful world where none are hungry.
The PC(USA) has witnessed in our work and through our partnerships around the world that violent conflicts are exacerbating hunger and poverty. Frequently, armed groups attack or take by force farms, food stocks, and agricultural tools and equipment. Often, as a tactic of war, civilians are cut off from humanitarian assistance to create situations of starvation, which if on a large enough scale become famines.
A few places where global partners currently are impacted by increased violence and extreme hunger are:
- In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Territory, our partners are providing agricultural training and assistance to rebuild greenhouses and replant agricultural fields that have been destroyed in the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. Gaza is experiencing high levels of conflict, food insecurity, unemployment, and deteriorating infrastructure like drinking water running dry.
- In Northeast Nigeria, our partners are assisting communities to rehabilitate their agricultural activities and lives after Boko Haram militants burned down homes and fields, stole farming tools and food stocks, and raped women and girls. And just recently, Boko Haram attacked a U.N. humanitarian assistance facility that was providing lifesaving assistance to famine affected zones.
- In Yemen, since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a bombing campaign with the support of U.S. military intelligence and weapons, against the Houthi Rebels who are in power there. The largest food crisis in the world exists in Yemen, where more than 230,000 people have died from violent attacks, lack of access to food, healthcare, and infrastructure. Our partners there are providing conflict affected communities with continued and regular access to food through distribution of livelihoods assets for income generation.
Faced with all these challenges, our global partners amaze us with their capacity to adapt and cope with life in extreme conditions. They teach us the true meaning of resiliency. We are honored to walk alongside our partners and to have relationships of meaningful exchange and learning. Our global partners have astounding capacity and tenacity as they dedicate themselves to rebuilding livelihoods and lives that have been destroyed by violence. May God protect and keep all those who work in places of great harm, threat, and personal risk as they work for peace and justice and to end hunger and poverty.
God of all the world, we give you thanks that your love and presence covers all corners of the globe. We ask you to send your Spirit to help us, as we find ways to send our love and our presence to global partners in the midst of violent conflicts. We trust that Jesus Christ, who is the prince of peace, reconciles all the Earth — and calls us to join in that ongoing holy work. May we follow the call to provide food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, and to stand in solidarity with the oppressed. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Please call your elected officials and urge them to condemn acts of violence around the world where innocent civilians are terrorized and to work towards peaceful resolution and humanitarian aid in places of extreme violence and hunger. Starvation should not be used as a weapon of conflict.
Famine and extreme hunger information and giving opportunities: