Thursday, 18 August 2011

Support the Somalia Famine Relief Effort

The following open letter was released on 16 August 2011.

My dear brother bishops,

I want to commend to you and your dioceses this global Somalia Famine Relief effort. As you will see, the facilitation of this huge effort was led by the Anglican Alliance for Development, Relief and Advocacy, as described in the attachment (copied below, in this blog).

We are all well aware how the devastating famine in the Horn of Africa is very much in the hearts, minds and prayers of people around the world. This appeal offers an opportunity to be committed to this effort for the ‘long haul’ as it indicated in the attachment. In addition to donations from people of faith around the world, it also calls on international bodies to increase their response.

Please send donations from your dioceses to the Office of the Provincial Treasurer, clearly marked “Anglican Somalia Famine Relief” and deposited to:

Account name: ACSA Disaster Relief Fund; Bank: Standard Bank of SA Ltd; Branch: Cape Town Branch IBT No: 020009; Account No: 07 007 8394

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Revd Suzanne Peterson, Public Policy and Advocacy Officer at Bishopscourt (021 763 1333).

I know that you will join me in continuing to hold the people in the Horn of Africa in our prayers, along with the many groups who are trying to assist them, often at some peril to themselves.

God bless.

Yours in the service of Christ,

+Thabo Cape Town

The Anglican Communion News Service issued the following release on 10 August 2011.

Ecumenical faith leaders in Africa today launched a Call to Action and Appeal for the people affected by famine in the Horn of Africa.

The move came after a two day meeting in Nairobi led by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa and involving the All Africa Council of Churches the Lutheran World Federation, WCC-EHAIA, FECCLAHA, LWF, OAIC, WSCF, EAA, ACT Alliance and World Vision, brought together by the Anglican Alliance for Development, Relief and Advocacy.

As the first Africa regional ecumenical and interdenominational gathering in response to the food insecurity and humanitarian crisis, the group paid tribute to the heroic work of the humanitarian agencies, churches and others who had saved millions of lives working in difficult circumstances to meet the needs of people fleeing drought, famine and war.

And the meeting issued a Call to Action to:

- The international community to meet the US$ 1.4 billion humanitarian funding gap; provide the necessary technical support to meet the needs of the affected population, especially women and children and ensure that global food security is given a high priority at the G20 meeting in France in November. Food aid is no substitute for food security. (See below)

- The UN to give higher priority to the policies to provide sustainable food supplies, and to work with the Arab League to address the root causes of the conflict which has affected the region for so long.

- The African Union to bring forward its donor conference, increase budgetary support for agriculture, and bring forward strategies to address the crisis affecting the refugees in the region, and ensure that there is safe passage for humanitarian purposes.

The faith leaders also committed their churches to long term support for people and communities affected by drought and famine. Launching the Appeal, the Most Rev Ian Ernest, Chairman of CAPA and Archbishop of the Province of the Indian Ocean said: “In showing solidarity and support to our brothers and sister affected by the current crisis, we the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) hereby launch an appeal for financial aid from all good people and well wishers. This appeal will be used to support local partners that are working in the affected areas. Because our intention is not only to deal with immediate needs, but to find long term solutions, this appeal will extend up to the end of 2012.”

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Thanks for your feedback! Archbishop Thabo