CFGB launches African drought appeal

There are 24 million people at risk and Canadians invited to help

With millions of people in southern Africa and Ethiopia facing extreme drought this year, Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) is inviting Canadians to help by making a donation to its African Drought Appeal.

“We are reaching out to Canadians and asking them to please give generously,” says CFGB executive director Jim Cornelius.

The prolonged drought, which affects about 14 million people in southern Africa, and another 10 million in Ethiopia, is a consequence of the most powerful El Niño event in recent history.

The World Food Program and the United Nations say the countries most affected by the drought include Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland and Ethiopia; all will need food assistance this year.

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As well, about one million children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in eastern and southern Africa.

“People are suffering,” said Cornelius. “They are watching as the time to plant comes and goes with no rainfall, or watching the crops they did manage to plant wither and die.”

Through its members — World Renew, World Relief Canada, Mennonite Central Committee Canada and Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada — CFGB is responding.

To date, we have committed over $2.5 million for relief projects, but more help is needed.

“The time to provide assistance is now, before photos of hungry children begin appearing on our screens,” says Cornelius, noting that African countries are doing what they can to mitigate the crisis.

“But if we wait until then, for many it will be too late.”

People who want to make a donation in support of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank African Drought response can go to: http://foodgrainsbank.ca/donate-now/ or send a cheque to Box 767, Winnipeg, Man. R3C 2L4, or call 1-800-665-0377.

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