Foodgrains Bank launches African Drought Appeal

With millions of people in southern Africa and Ethiopia facing extreme drought this year, Canadian Foodgrains Bank is asking Canadians to donate to its African Drought Appeal.

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

“People are suffering,” said Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim 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.”

So far, the Foodgrains Bank and its members — World Renew, World Relief Canada, Mennonite Central Committee Canada and Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada — 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,” said 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.”

Donations can be made at foodgrainsbank.ca or by calling 1-800-665-0377.

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