The Church Mission Society in London has issued an urgent call for prayer and practical help for 33,000 Sudanese refugees in northern Kenya. The inhabitants of Kakuma camp are slowly dying of malnutrition because their food rations have been cut to starvation level.
CMS General Secretary Diana Witts is called on the Society's supporters to write to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Program, urging them to increase the frequency and contents of refugee food baskets. "We are gravely concerned that displaced Sudanese, many of whom are fellow Anglicans, are dying when they should be under UNHCR protection. The quantity and quality of their rations must be increased immediately."
CMS mission partner the Revd Marc Nikkel, who brought the situation to the attention of the Society, says that worst hit are mothers, children and the elderly.
Fr Nikkel reports that the Revd Mark Atem, a Sudanese Anglican who serves in the camps, "refrains from going to his own family compound during the day because he cannot bear his children pleading for the milk he cannot give them."
The Kakuma Refugee Camp is located 100 kilometres from the Sudanese border in northwest Kenya. The refugees fled to Kenya in 1992 after large areas of mostly Christian southern Sudan were attacked by the National Islamic Front government in its war with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)
Among the refugees are the famous 12,000 children and young men, the "lost children of southern Sudan" who had moved nomadically in southern Sudan and Ethiopia for several years.