Washington, DC (BWA)--Baptist World Aid (BWAid), the relief and development arm of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), has granted an initial sum of US$15,000 for Somali refugee relief.
More than 12 million people in East Africa are struggling to survive the driest period in the Eastern Horn of Africa, the worst in 60 years. The drought is causing widespread crop failure, devastating livestock and causing substantial increases in food prices. In hard-hit Somalia alone, some 3.7 million people are facing a crisis and hundreds of thousands are pouring into other countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.
Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti are also affected by the drought and food crisis, as well as Sudan, South Sudan and parts of Uganda.
The Ethiopian Addis Kidan Baptist Church will receive an initial sum of US$5,000 responding to an appeal to the BWA by general secretary Kifle Shibre to support efforts to assist some of the many thousands of Somalis that are streaming into the country.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), a BWA member body in the United States, is receiving US$10,000 for refugee relief in Kenya, where many thousands of Somalis have traveled to escape the effects of the famine. A CBF field officer is currently in Kenya conducting an assessment of water needs at one of the refugee camps on the Ethiopian border.
BWAid director, Paul Montacute, is encouraging Baptists to give generously to the BWA Hunger Fund for these and similar needs. "We have already received many enquiries from the worldwide Baptist fellowship," Montacute said. "These initial gifts to the CBF and Addis Kadan will enable work to start, but more funds will be needed as we support long range programs."
Donations may be made to www.bwanet.org or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046, USA