By The Rev. Daniel Rift
Director, ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Today, one year after ELCA Disaster Response took action to respond to the crisis in the Horn of Africa, we remember and pray for all those affected by the long drought in the region. We are a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work. As news of this crisis spread, you responded generously with prayers and financial support. Thanks to people like you, our church contributed more than $1 million to support the work of ELCA Disaster Response in the Horn of Africa. Thank you.
The long, severe drought forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes in search of water and food. Tens of thousands even lost their lives. However, many more of the 13 million people affected, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia, received life-saving aid, thanks to your generosity and the dedicated work of our local partners and companion churches.
Together, we have:
- Provided food to nearly 30,000 people in the western districts of Ethiopia.
- Drilled new water wells, built latrines and planted vegetable gardens in three different refugee camps in the eastern districts of Ethiopia.
- Welcomed, protected and sheltered 455,000 refugees at Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, the largest refugee camp in the world.
Today, while we continue to provide help and hope in the Horn of Africa, drought is deepening in the Sahel region of West Africa and our companions and partners there have asked us for help. Eight countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal) have already declared a state of drought emergency.
ELCA Disaster Response is at work with our companions in Senegal, distributing food and animal feed. As other companions and partners in the region draw up their plans, we stand ready to respond according to their needs.
Thank you for your ongoing generosity and commitment to provide help and hope to our sisters and brothers in need. Please continue to pray for the people of Africa who have been affected by drought, and consider an additional gift to support our work in West Africa. One hundred percent of your gift, designated for West Africa Sahel Drought Relief, will be used for this response.
Thank you for your generous gifts, your prayers and your partnership.