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ERD assists people affected by drought and famine in Niger, Ghana, and Zimbabwe

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Episcopal Relief and Development is providing emergency assistance to vulnerable people affected by drought and famine in Niger, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. Severe drought exacerbated by a locust invasion in Niger, inconsistent rainfall patterns in Ghana, and no harvest in Zimbabwe has left hundreds of thousands of people in each country at risk of starvation. We are providing emergency food aid and other critical supplies through Anglican and ecumenical partners.

Niger

In Niger, over 3.6 million people in more than 3,500 villages need food aid. An estimated 150,000 children face acute malnutrition. A locust invasion and severe drought in the northern region of Sahel has destroyed crops and caused a steady decline in the annual grain harvests. ERD is partnering with Lutheran World Relief, through Action by Churches Together International, to supply people in 55 villages with food supplies such as grain, milk powder, seeds, and cattle feed.

Ghana

At least 2.5 million people in Ghana are undernourished and today families in the northern part of the country are particularly vulnerable to starvation. Low rainfall, high temperatures, and a long, dry season have severely impacted the region which relies heavily on subsistence farming. We are working with the Anglican Diocese of Tamale in northern Ghana to help prevent starvation in areas affected by last year's poor harvest. ERD's support will provide food to families dependent on farming as well as children, widows, and women in: Bawku East and West Districts, Bongo, the Talese/Namdam Districts in the Upper East Region, West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region, and Wa District in the Upper West Region.

Zimbabwe

More than 700,000 Zimbabweans have lost their homes or livelihoods after shelters and markets stalls were destroyed. People working in informal businesses and as street traders have also been affected. A collapsed economy and no harvest are affecting more than 2.4 million people in the country. Through our partner HOPE Africa, the social development program of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, we are providing basic food and essentials including beans, corn, sugar, medicine, soap, and blankets. "My major concern is with the well being of people so terribly affected by this humanitarian crisis," said the Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. "In the short term, our concerns must be adequate food, water, shelter, and health care," said Archbishop Ndungane.

ERD remains committed to our partnerships with communities affected by drought and famine in Niger, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.

Janette O'Neill, ERD's Program Director of Africa, emphasized that, "it has only been three weeks since the world was focused on Africa at the G8 Summit in Scotland. Now, a mere 20 days later, the world is struggling to address the urgent needs of a continent that has once again slipped out of its view. ERD's support of these relief efforts is an important part of bringing these circumstances to the world's attention."

To make a contribution to help people affected by this crisis, donate to the Africa Relief Fund at http://www.er-d.org/, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development, Africa Relief Fund, PO Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101.

Episcopal Relief and Development, an independent 501(c) 3 organization, saves lives and builds hope in communities around the world. We provide emergency assistance in times of crisis and rebuild after disasters. We enable people to climb out of poverty by offering long-term solutions in the areas of food security and health care, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.