Wednesday, February 15, 2006

From Barnabas Fund - Famine in Kenya


10 February 2006


There is a serious famine situation in north-east Kenya where
Christians are a minority and likely to be overlooked in aid distribution.

Barnabas Fund is appealing for donations to help.

"There is very great drought and famine in the country. As a result churches are greatly affected. There is hardly any water for home use, the harvesting failed terribly and still no sign of rain for planting. Can you through the Lord and brothers abroad be able to lend us hand at this demanding time? I am really finding it hard as I go preaching and visiting starving brothers and sisters in the Lord." These are the words of a
Christian leader in Kenya appealing for help.

Concern increases about the situation in north-east Kenya and the Horn of Africa because of the famine that is afflicting the area. The Kenyan government estimates that 3.5 million people including 500,000 young children face hunger and possible starvation in 25 districts.

The situation has been caused by poor rains over recent months. This has badly hit the farmers and the livestock on which many pastoralists rely for food and income.

"Malnutrition rates among children are alarmingly high
and the areas have already seen large numbers of livestock deaths," said a government minister. He categorised the outlook as "grim" for many people.

An early response will go a long way towards forestalling a major disaster. Even if the next rains come on time in March-April the harvest will not be ready until July-August. Barnabas Fund has already sent an advance grant to a Christian organisation working to assist in north-east Kenya to be used to provide maize for hungry Christians. Christians are a majority in Kenya as a whole, but they are a minority in much of the north-east of thecountry where the famine is centred. Muslims form the majority communityin this area, and there are serious concerns that Christian communities may be excluded from general aid distribution. Experience in other countries shows that Christian minorities in Muslim areas tend to suffer disproportionately in any natural disaster. Local Christian organisations have appealed to Barnabas Fund for aid. Food, vitamin supplements, clean water and medical packs (including re-hydration products) are among the likely needs. Aid through local Christian groups generally proves to be the best way to provide cost-effective and accountable assistance to the neediest Christians in times of disaster. Barnabas Fund is closely monitoring the situation in Kenya and the Horn of Africa and also in Tanzania where similar problems are starting to appear in some regions. Barnabas Fund is appealing for assistance to help Christians in the famine area. All support will be channeled through Christian organisations on the ground.

Please click this link to donate onlineusing our secure server. (Please quote project reference 25-608 when you send your gift.)

If you prefer to telephone, dial:0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside theUK. (Please quote project reference 25-608 when you send your gift.)

If you prefer to send a cheque by post, click this link for addresses of our regional offices and to print a donation page. (Please quote project reference 25-608 when you send your gift.)


Pray for all who are suffering in the famine areas of Kenya, the Horn ofAfrica and Tanzania that help will reach them in time. Remember in particular Christian minorities in Muslim-majority famine areas who are fearful that they will be excluded from general aid distribution.

Pray that Barnabas Fund will be able to make sure that their needs are met. Pray that the March-April rains will come on time and for a good harvest later in the year.

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