Recent events in Pakistan have left the minority Christian population vulnerable to attacks, looting, and burning. The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, now known as World Renew, is responding by providing support and living supplies to those displaced by violence.
The situation began on August 16, 2012 when an eleven-year old Christian girl with special needs was arrested under Pakistan’s Blasphemy law.
Rimsha Masih had been preparing a fire near her home in the slums using papers she collected from the garbage. A neighbour claimed that the burning pages were from a religious Islamic book. He raised an alarm and soon an angry mob attacked Rimsha and her family. Police rescued them from the crowd and placed the girl under arrest.
In August, heavy rains in Niger caused the worst flooding in 100 years. One of the most affected areas was the southern region of Dosso. Later the banks of the Niger River overflowed and caused flooding to occur in the region of Tillabery in the north and in the capital city Niamey. Approximately 145 communities have been impacted and extensive farmland is submerged in water. Thousands of people have been left homeless.
“Like the four countries facing extreme hunger crises today,” writes Jason Patinkin, a reporter with IRIN, “the famine that gripped Ethiopia from 1983 to 1985 struggled for attention until it was far too late.”
In the end, nearly one million Ethiopians died during that famine.
Striking Haiti’s southwestern coast on October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew left behind a trail of devastation. Enormous trees uprooted. Homes toppled to their foundation. Bridges collapsed. Streets flooded. It was nearly a week until some of the most remote mountain communities were accessible. Six months later, many families are still putting the pieces of their life back together.
World Renew, in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB), is providing food assistance to over 74,500 people within the African continent alone. Yet there are 70 million more people in the region who do not know where their next meal will come from.
"We are standing on the brink of an expanded famine crisis in eastern Africa that we can help to prevent."
Heavy rain and mudslides are having deadly effects throughout Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. For weeks, these South American nations have been inundated with rainfall which has caused severe flooding and mudslides, affecting over 1 million people.
Severe drought or famine is devastating communities around the world. In Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen millions of people are at risk of starvation. Communities are on the edge of catastrophe and families are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.