Countries in the Horn of Africa afflicted by droughts and war are facing famine which visits the region regularly leaving the United Nations and faith-based organizations battling to contain the current crisis.
Faith leaders and partners from organizations linked to them are gathering this week in Nairobi, mobilizing to overcome hunger and sustain justice and peace in the troubled Horn of Africa.
The consultation organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC), the All Africa Conference of Churches and ACT Alliance, World Vision International and the World Food Programme, will be held in the Kenyan capital at the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) from 27-29 June.
Leaders from the World Council of Churches (WCC), ACT Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, Caritas Internationalis World Vision International and the World Food Programme (WFP) will participate.
Among speakers are: Rev. Dr Andre Karamaga, AACC general secretary; Dr Agnes Aboum, moderator of the WCC’s central committee; Ms Joyce Luma, country director for South Sudan of the World Food Programme; Dr Manoj Kurian of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) and Dr Nigussu Legesse, WCC’s programme executive for Africa.
The UN has declared famine in parts of South Sudan, but in adjoining areas such as Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, and Uganda the situation is fragile.
Organizers say they aim to build on the momentum gained on the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on 21 May by engaging in strategic discussions.
The WFP has classified the drought crisis in the Horn of Africa as a “Level 2 Emergency”.
In Somalia some 2.9 million people and in neighbouring Ethiopia around 5.6 million people are categorized as being in either crisis or emergency and require urgent humanitarian assistance.
Further south in Kenya, 2.6 million people also require emergency food assistance.
The drought is evolving against escalating needs in South Sudan, with 4.9 million people requiring emergency food assistance between February and April 2017.
The UN and church leaders are worried about the nexus between conflicts and hunger knowing that food insecurity and starvation are increasingly being used in conflicts as weapons of war.
The weaponizing of food adds to the humiliation and the decimation of populations and the shredding of the very fabric of human societies, they say.