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Until June 30, the federal government will match donations made by Canadians to registered charities working to provide famine assistance in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen and neighbouring regions. (This includes the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund.) Bishop Jane is encouraging all parishes throughout the diocese to take advantage of this opportunity to make our giving go further during this unprecedented time of suffering.

The United Nations announced it must raise $4.4 billion by July, in order to assist the more than 20 million people were facing famine in these four countries. In South Sudan, the UN said about 3.4 million are in need of help after being displaced by fighting between government forces and armed groups loyal to the former vice president Riek Machar. While several districts in South Sudan are already facing famine, says Stillhart, Yemen and Somalia have a three-to-four-month "window" before it sets in there. Meanwhile, about 300,000 people face acute malnutrition in northeast Nigeria.

"Food, water, shelter, and healthcare are required immediately," says Red Cross director of operations Dominik Stillhart. "We are on the ground and delivering aid in all four countries. We witness the massive suffering. Millions of people are denied the very basics to survive."

According to UN and food organizations, a famine is declared when more than 30 percent of children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, and mortality rates are two or more deaths per 10,000 people each day.

"In our own partner Diocese of Buyé, we know that 49.6% of children between 6 and 59 months are chronically malnourished, and the situation is worsening in some areas," says Bishop Jane Alexander.

  • May I ask you to pray daily for these areas of the world?
  • May I invite you to give as you are able?
  • May I ask every parish to think about taking up a collection, or having a fundraising event in the Easter season, or even donating the Easter offering to famine relief as we think about the plight of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

There are many agencies that provide exemplary relief including PWRDF, UNICEF, OXFAM, RED CROSS and SAVE THE CHILDREN.

To donate funds to Buyé diocese, please send donations to the Synod Office, 10035-103 Street, Edmonton AB, T5J 0X5. Cheques can be made payable to the Diocese of Edmonton, memo: “Buyé”