Ethiopian Crisis Seek for Immediate ACT Assistance

Nov 26, 2002 12:19 PM EST

Geneva - Members of the global alliance, Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, have joined forces under the umbrella of the Joint Relief Partnership (JRP) to tackle the growing humanitarian emergency in Ethiopia. Conservative estimates put the number of people affected by the food crisis at about 6.2 million people.

Grave concerns for Ethiopia have been growing due to recurring droughts in districts (known as woredas), sporadic rainfalls and consequential decimation of entire crops.

The JRP/ACT targeted 24 districted in desperate assistance have a history of immense suffering from the very aforementioned disasters. Earlier this year, in a report written for ACT member Lutheran World Federation, local farmers were quoted as saying that "the land and the crops have been in conflict … the land is tired of the people". The worst affected regions are Afar, Somali and Oromia. In Afar alone this year, more than half the cattle herds have been wiped out.

The Joint Relief Partnership (JRP) is an ecumenical consortium of the three Ethiopian churches, two church related international agencies as well as the Lutheran World Federation and Catholic Relief Services. The ACT members, Ethiopia Orthodox Church, Ethiopia Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Lutheran World Federation/World Service, Norwegian Church Aid, and Christian Aid, as well as the Ethiopia Catholic Church responding to the crisis, have issued an appeal with a target of just over US $2,4 million. (Christian Aid and Norwegian Church Aid will work through local partners in Ethiopia under this appeal.)

By Albert H. Lee
[email protected]