A NEWS RELEASE
From Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA)
Winnipeg, August 4, 2005 (ELCIC)--GHDA has issued an appeal for contributions to help support a coalition of aid organizations responding to the humanitarian crisis in Niger. The west African country has been ravaged by drought and an invasion of locusts, leaving 2.5 million Nigerois in desperate need of food, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Most immediately at risk are young children. Feeding centres run by Medecins sans Frontieres are reporting admission rates nearly three times those during the same peiod last year. "Children are dying and adults are going hungry," said WFP Niger Country Director, Gian Carlo Cirri, who has been appealing for a rapid response to Niger's worsening food crisis. "We have said this before and we are saying it again - Niger needs help today, not tomorrow."
The Global Hunger and Development Appeal encourages ELCIC member support.
Contributions to GHDA will be forwarded to Canadian Lutheran World Relief working through Action by Churches Together (ACT), an umbrella group for international church organizations, including the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
ACT members Swiss Interchurch Aid (HEKS) and Lutheran World Relief (LWR) have been working in Niger for many years and are responding to the situation. HEKS, through its partners in Tahoua, is providing assistance to the affected population in the form of food security, training, and capacity building. They are requesting support to complement their efforts in providing millet, seed and milk powder as well as animal fodder from June to September.
Donations can be made through regular congregational offerings marked "GHDA -- Niger Appeal" or on line at www.elcic.ca/ghda. GHDA respectfully requests that donations made to this Appeal be considered "second mile" gifts so that projects already underway in many countries around the world will not suffer reduced funding.