People across Africa are facing extreme drought. A principal cause is one of the most powerful El Nino events in recent history. Almost 24 million people in Africa could need food assistance soon.

According to the World Food Programme, about 14 million people in southern African countries including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Swaziland will need food assistance this year. In Ethiopia, the United Nations is predicting about 10 million people will require food assistance.

Already, people are facing food and water shortages. Crops are drying up, and soil is eroding. Livestock are dying off, and communities are struggling. Almost one million children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in eastern and southern Africa.

In recent months, the United Church has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in humanitarian assistance through ACT Alliance and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. On April 15 the church launched an appeal for donations. Funds received will be used to further assist our partners in lessening the burden on our Africans brothers and sisters.