Compassion Canada

July 28, 2011 16:55 ET

East Africa Drought: Is Compassion Canada Affected and How Are We Responding?

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 28, 2011) - Drought, rising food costs and political instability are all leading to famine in the Horn of Africa. Many Somalis are streaming into refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya and Southeastern Ethiopia seeking help for their starving families.

Although Compassion does not work in Somalia, we do work in Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, each affected by the drought to some degree. However, Compassion does not work in the specific areas that are most impacted, such as Southeastern Ethiopia and Northeastern Kenya.

Compassion's ministry is focused on long-term child development carried out through the local church, rather than on relief. Our programs protect our children and families to a very great extent against the crippling impact of famine and drought. We encourage our church partners to assess their situation and strategize for a long-term response, such as providing chickens or goats for a long-term food source, or providing skills training to allow parents to earn a steady income. This enables them to lessen factors that could otherwise be devastating.

Therefore, our response to the terrible drought in East Africa is long-term recovery in the areas where we work, rather than immediate relief. Because we are not responding to this crisis with immediate relief, we cannot participate in the Government Matching Program.

Our staff will continue to assess the needs of our church partners in the drought-impacted areas and will respond to these needs through long-term recovery efforts as they arise. If you would like to give to these efforts, you can donate to our Africa Drought Recovery Fund at www.compassion.ca. These donations will be directed toward specific needs from our church partners as they arise.

If you have a heart to give immediate relief to those suffering in the worst-hit areas, please consider giving to trusted organizations that are positioned to respond immediately to these pressing needs, such as World Relief, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) or Food for the Hungry.

One of the best ways to help children living in East Africa is to invest in the life of a child by sponsoring a little one through Compassion. This provides a long-term safety net so that fewer and fewer children are vulnerable to famine and drought in the future. To sponsor a child, visit www.compassion.ca/eastafrica.

Finally, please join us and our worldwide Compassion family in praying for these children and families who are suffering through a time of such great need.

About Compassion

Compassion International has partnered with the local church in the developing world to bring an eternal solution to poverty into the lives of children since 1952. Today, Compassion Canada and its international partners work with over 5,000 churches in 26 nations to bring care to more than one million children and families.

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