Famine and extreme hunger are a reality today for many of our brothers and sisters. Matthew 25 challenges us to respond as if Christ were hungry. The Presbyterian Hunger Program has partners working in places where people are suffering, and the need is urgent. We want to do more, and we are asking for your help. Resources are available to help you share the need with your congregation.
Background and Response
There is enough food in the world for everyone. But because of poor access and distribution, extreme weather and political instability, many don’t have enough to survive. Even with all the progress the world has made in the past decades, people in four countries where famine was declared in 2017 are still suffering from extreme hunger: Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, and Nigeria.
An official declaration of famine means that at least 20% of households face an extreme lack of food, and large numbers of people are dying every day due to hunger. In many other places where famine hasn’t been declared, many families and communities still suffer from extreme hunger. These places include Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Chad. Conflicts, war, natural disasters and climate change are often the causes.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), through the Presbyterian Hunger Program, supports partners around the world who are working in their communities to identify why people are hungry and to work toward long-term solutions. PHP has partners in the four countries where famine has been declared, and so far, we have been able to provide one grant to each for their work in 2019.
- In Somalia, which has been affected by conflict, cyclic drought and historic floods, our partner Kaalmo Relief and Development is offering emergency food distribution.
- In Yemen, where war has left more than 8.4 million people at risk of starvation, our partner Generations Without Qat is distributing goats to provide milk, and offering support for income generating activities.
- In South Sudan, where civil war and gender-based violence have left many without a safe place to call home or food, our partner Hope Restoration South Sudan is providing seeds, tools and training for women.
- In Nigeria, where the violence of Boko Haram has caused destruction, our partner Civil Society for Poverty Eradication is helping provide water pumps, rice, vegetable seeds and training.
The need is immense, and we want to do more.
Our partners are working to address the underlying causes of hunger, but their communities are also in need of emergency assistance. We want to be able to respond to their requests, so that fewer families will be hungry and malnourished. We are asking for your help.
- Famine Fact Sheet – learn about the drivers and realities of famine
- Fact Sheet on the Four Famines – Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria
- Poster “When were you hungry?”
- Bulletin insert “I was hungry and you gave me food”
- Urge Congress to advance global nutrition.
- Urge Congress to support peacebuilding in South Sudan.
- Urge Congress to end U.S. military participation in Yemen.
- Contact your U.S. Representative at 202-225-3121 and your Senators at 202-224-3121. Let them know you oppose further cuts to the International Affairs Budget, so that the U.S. can continue to respond to famine and other global hunger crises.
- Participate in Bread for the World’s 2019 Offering of Letters to support action for global nutrition.
Stories about partners responding to famine
- Restoring Hope to Famine Stricken South Sudan: PHP partners with Hope Restoration South Sudan to improve food security and empower women and girls through farming, by Eileen Schuhmann
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance joins the Presbyterian Hunger Program to respond to famine and poverty in Yemen, by Rich Copley