July 1, 2022
Before the pandemic hit, 135 million people were severely food insecure (United Nations). Today, that number has doubled to 276 million. And it’s only going to get worse.
That’s why we so desperately need your prayers, particularly for Compassion children in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Togo and Uganda. Food insecurity is when a person doesn’t have regular access to enough nutritious food. It’s caused when food simply isn’t available or when a person doesn’t have enough resources to obtain it. At its worst, severe food insecurity means a person has run out of food and at times doesn’t eat for a day or more. For children, this can cause long-term damage, including poor academic performance, increased risk of diabetes and cancer, and premature death. It's impossible to know how long the global food crisis will last, but experts say it could last years if action isn't taken.
Our frontline church partners are responding in two ways: with immediate relief and long-term support. We will distribute food packs and cash transfers to satisfy immediate needs and then focus on equipping families with tools and resources to become self-sufficient.
According to the World Food Programme, an estimated total of 3.3 million people in Burkina Faso are facing severe food insecurity, with the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to a sharp spike in numbers.
Ethiopia is facing a tragic combination of conflict in the north and drought in the south. In the northern region, 2 million people are severely hungry, and 50% of pregnant and breastfeeding women are malnourished. In the south, prolonged drought has wiped out livestock, driven displacement and destroyed livelihoods.
According to the World Food Programme, Haiti has one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the world. More than 4 million Haitians — nearly half the population — need immediate food assistance. Among these, 1.2 million suffer from severe hunger. These issues have been exacerbated by political instability as well as relentless natural disasters, including hurricanes, flooding, landslides, drought and devastating earthquakes.
Like its neighbors in the Horn of Africa, Kenya is experiencing extreme drought conditions, and some 3.5 million people are facing severe hunger. The current drought is already historic in both length and severity. Long-range forecast models are now predicting an unprecedented five-season drought, which will further increase severity and escalate food needs into
Fears of a hunger crisis continue to rise in Sri Lanka, with widespread shortages of flour and milk powder. Food inflation hovers around 60%, and many farmers facing fertilizer shortages have abandoned their fields because they can no longer afford to grow crops, especially rice. Mahinda Amaraweera, the agriculture minister, expects crop yields to decrease by 50% this year.
Socio-political and economic turmoil, coupled with devastating floods and now COVID-19 have deteriorated Togo’s food and nutritional situation. Nearly 1.3 million (22% of the population) require humanitarian assistance, and over 280,000 people are at risk of food insecurity.
This small country hosts the largest refugee population in Africa, with nearly 1.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers sheltering there as of January 2020. Many refugee households in Uganda rely on food assistance to meet their daily needs. According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, refugees in Uganda will face acute food insecurity unless there’s immediate intervention. Our frontline church partners in Uganda are already noticing children losing weight and families coming to the church to ask for food and help.
I know that hearing about this global food crisis may weigh heavily on your heart. Would you join us in prayer? We ask you to pray with us for:
- The hearts and minds of parents struggling to find food for their families.
- Wisdom and stamina for our frontline church partners as they seek resources to provide for the children and families in their care.
- Peace in war-torn lands where there is food insecurity.