Famine relief under way in Horn of Africa
Mark Kelly, Baptist Press
July 26, 2011

Famine relief under way in Horn of Africa

Famine relief under way in Horn of Africa
Mark Kelly, Baptist Press
July 26, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Southern Baptists already are at work

with relief efforts in the Horn of Africa, where drought and famine threaten

the lives of nearly 11 million people.

Recent news reports have sparked heightened interest in the suffering there,

but the crisis has been building for years, said Jeff Palmer, executive

director of the Baptist Global Response (BGR) international relief and

development organization.

“We are grateful the mass media have begun reporting on the situation and that

more people are becoming concerned,” Palmer said. “Southern Baptists have been

engaged in humanitarian work in that area since the 1970s, and we are

initiating new projects so people who care will have plenty of opportunities to

reach out to people in the Horn of Africa who are in desperate need.”

The United Nations estimates about 770,000 people have fled to refugee camps

and about $1.3 billion will be needed to address the crisis.

The Horn of Africa suffers from long-term cycles of drought and famine, and

Southern Baptists began months ago to address the developing crisis, said Mark

Hatfield, who with his wife Susan directs BGR work in Sub-Saharan Africa and is

helping coordinate response to the crisis.

“East Africa has experienced cycles of hunger due to failed crops, economic

crises and climatic changes for decades, with those cycles becoming closer and

closer together in recent years,” Hatfield said. “Southern Baptists have been

involved in addressing these needs. In 2009, the World Hunger Fund helped

respond to a severe drought among the Masai of southern Kenya. Over $1 million

dollars was allocated to provide supplemental feeding during that cycle of


“Since then, over $190,000 has been allocated for feeding projects focused in

northern Kenya and Southern Sudan,” Hatfield added. “We are assessing the

current situation among the people groups we have relationships with, and we

are working with our BGR partners in the East Africa area to develop ministries

that will reach out to those most vulnerable during this critical time of hunger

and suffering.”

Donations designated for the Horn of Africa crisis can be made through the

International Mission Board (IMB) at imb.org.

BGR will post updates on the relief work as more information becomes available.

Updates can be monitored on Twitter (www.twitter.com/gobgr), Facebook

(http://on.fb.me/hKaE6J) and www.gobgr.org.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Kelly is senior writer and an assistant editor for

Baptist Press.)

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