Famine in the Horn of Africa

Nov 02, 2022
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Food Security


Baptist Word Aid CEO Melissa Lipsett warns of imminent devastation

Regretfully, the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa* is reaching dire levels. Baptist World Aid is taking proactive steps in anticipation of an official declaration of famine.

The United Nations declares a famine in conjunction with the affected country. They use a metric called IPC to monitor hunger through phases of severity from one to five. Famine (phase five) is triggered when: 

  • an area has a minimum of 20 per cent of households with an extreme lack of food;
  • over 30 per cent of children are experiencing malnutrition; and
  • two in 10,000 people are dying daily from starvation, malnutrition or disease.

With, 21 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia experiencing acute food insecurity, we expect this declaration any day.

The United Nations declares a famine in conjunction with the affected country.

God is Faithful

This is sobering and feels overwhelming. But I’m convicted, as always, of God’s faithfulness.

To practically help address global crises, Baptist World Aid Australia has joined with 14 other Australian humanitarian aid organisations to respond in the Horn of Africa through our Hunger Crisis Appeal.

Working within this alliance allows us to share resources and skills so that, together, we maximise our impact during international emergencies. This means we will be able to access a joint pool of funding through the generosity of donors who may be unfamiliar with Baptist World Aid. It also means we can channel funds to where most needed, through a trusted, expanded network. But of course, we need the help of our Baptist family too as we respond to this global crisis.

What Funds Will Do

Funds raised through the alliance and the Baptist family will help support the work of our local Christian partners in Kenya and Uganda—ensuring people can access:  

  • emergency food rations to prevent malnutrition;  
  • vouchers and cash grants to purchase household and livelihood necessities; and 
  • training in innovative techniques that will help drought-affected farmers feed their families—now and into the future.

What’s causing the hunger crisis?

Please pray that food and water would flow through to the hungry and thirsty

Food and fuel prices have spiked worldwide in the wake of COVID. Four years of severe drought, and locust swarms have further compounded the situation in the Horn of Africa. Finally, the conflict in Ukraine has interrupted usual supply chains, making food even more scarce. To learn more about this hunger crisis, click here.

While this is a desperate situation, we’re encouraged by the partnership we enjoy with the Australian Baptist family, and proud to represent Australian Baptist Ministries within the Emergency Action Alliance.

Please pray that food and water would flow through to the hungry and thirsty, and that God’s people around the world would hear the call to give generously. Together, we continue to serve Jesus as we strive to make a better a world for all.

Melissa Lipsett

Melissa Lipsett
CEO, Baptist World Aid

* Definitions of The Horn of Africa vary, but at broadest include Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. 

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