Malawi churches declare food crisis a national disaster - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
October 14, 2005

Find books now:

Malawi churches declare food crisis a national disaster

-14/10/05

Malawi's national Council of Churches, which brings together 22 different Christian denominations, has urged President Bingu wa Mutharika to declare the central African country to be in a state of national disaster over its food crisis.

The call came at an emergency meeting of church leaders in Lilongwe, Malawiís capital. It is aimed at securing more international food aid to address a hunger crisis that has already claimed many lives, but is being overlooked among the worldís many disasters.

The Rev Matiya Nkhoma of the Presbyterian Church of Central Africa, who is a leading figure in the ecumenical council, also stressed the need to address long-term problems of political instability.

International UK-based churchesí development agency Christian Aid has recently announced that it is sending £100,000 to its partners in Malawi to support tens of thousands of people through to the next harvest.

Families have been running out of food as Malawi faces its lowest harvest levels in a decade. UNICEF, the United Nationsí childrenís fund, has also launched an appeal.

Christian Aid has spent £1.7 million on emergency work in Malawi since 2002. But this year, the crisis has worsened, and Christian Aid partners have asked for extra support until the next harvest.

The additional funding is part of a planned £1.1 million aid package from the Action by the global Churches Together (ACT) network, of which Christian Aid is a member.

Over 100,000 people in districts suffering the most will be fed through this fund. The money will also be used to buy seed and fertilisers, so people can plant crops for the next season.

In April 2005, Christian Aid partner CARD began food distributions in Nsanje district, one of the hardest-hit areas. Priority of aid is given to those who are most vulnerable, especially malnourished children and chronically sick people.

According to World Food Programme, at least five million people will need food aid before March 2006, the next harvest.

Leading development agency Oxfam last month told the worldís wealthy countries that they must act immediately to head off a looming food crisis threatening 10 million people in Southern Africa.

Oxfam and other church and secular aid organisations say that there is a real risk of repeating the mistakes made in the Northern Sahel region (Niger, Senegal, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso), where the famine that has impacted some 5 million people was actually forecast months in advance ñ and then ignored.

Find books now:

Malawi churches declare food crisis a national disaster

-14/10/05

Malawi's national Council of Churches, which brings together 22 different Christian denominations, has urged President Bingu wa Mutharika to declare the central African country to be in a state of national disaster over its food crisis.

The call came at an emergency meeting of church leaders in Lilongwe, Malawi's capital. It is aimed at securing more international food aid to address a hunger crisis that has already claimed many lives, but is being overlooked among the world's many disasters.

The Rev Matiya Nkhoma of the Presbyterian Church of Central Africa, who is a leading figure in the ecumenical council, also stressed the need to address long-term problems of political instability.

International UK-based churches' development agency Christian Aid has recently announced that it is sending £100,000 to its partners in Malawi to support tens of thousands of people through to the next harvest.

Families have been running out of food as Malawi faces its lowest harvest levels in a decade. UNICEF, the United Nations' children's fund, has also launched an appeal.

Christian Aid has spent £1.7 million on emergency work in Malawi since 2002. But this year, the crisis has worsened, and Christian Aid partners have asked for extra support until the next harvest.

The additional funding is part of a planned £1.1 million aid package from the Action by the global Churches Together (ACT) network, of which Christian Aid is a member.

Over 100,000 people in districts suffering the most will be fed through this fund. The money will also be used to buy seed and fertilisers, so people can plant crops for the next season.

In April 2005, Christian Aid partner CARD began food distributions in Nsanje district, one of the hardest-hit areas. Priority of aid is given to those who are most vulnerable, especially malnourished children and chronically sick people.

According to World Food Programme, at least five million people will need food aid before March 2006, the next harvest.

Leading development agency Oxfam last month told the world's wealthy countries that they must act immediately to head off a looming food crisis threatening 10 million people in Southern Africa.

Oxfam and other church and secular aid organisations say that there is a real risk of repeating the mistakes made in the Northern Sahel region (Niger, Senegal, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso), where the famine that has impacted some 5 million people was actually forecast months in advance - and then ignored.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.