Global Day of Prayer toEnd Famine: An Ecumenical Call
(10th June 2018)
- Some 825 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth. (2017 FAO)
- 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence (percentage of population) of hunger. One person in four there is undernourished.
- The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.
- Asia is the continent with the most hungry people – two thirds of the total. The percentage in southern Asia has fallen in recent years but in western Asia it has increased slightly.
- One in four of the world’s children are stunted. In developing countries the proportion can rise to one in three. Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year.
- If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.
- WFP calculates that US $3.2 billion is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school-age children.
In this context the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance invites global ecumenical partners, faith communities , concerned organisations,. communities and individuals to dedicate a day to pray in unity to end famine, considering particularly the famine catastrophe in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere in the globe.
- To bring awareness regarding famine’s impact on the most vulnerable children and families and to help address its root causes.
- To connect with church-related and other humanitarian organisations that are currently working to bring immediate relief and positive long-term change so children and families can live out God’s aspiration for a dignified, peaceful and violence-free future.
- To help communities and congregations to uphold each other in prayer and support, by sharing experiences, challenge and solutions.
The hungry are of special concern to God for it is on their behalf God will ask us: “Did you feed me when I was hungry?” (Matt 25: 35-40). “Have you fed me? is not a call to respond philanthropically but to respond as an issue of justice. As Nelson Mandela says, “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice”. And as Jimmy Carter observes, “. . . we know that a peaceful world cannot exist one-third rich and two-thirds hungry”.
So, according to Oikotree: poverty, hunger, starvation, and famine are justice issues. Therefore, Oikotree invites all its members and the global communities to observe this day as a time to spread the news abroad that famine is a justice issue and we need to combat such unjust elements and eradicate hunger from the world the God has placed us in through our missional and ministerial interventions.
Let us remember the communities in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere who do not have enough to eat and live. Let us commit ourselves to promote food-justice by working with the communities and the States to develop just-distributions policies.
Please visit https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/wcc-calls-for-global-day-of-prayer-to-end-famine for more details and to download worship and prayer resources.
We encourage all to join this campaign.
|Prof. Rev. Dr. Seong-Won Park
|Rev. Dr. Omega Chilufya Bula
Oikotree Life Giving Agriculture Working Group