The Anglican Board of Mission - the national mission agency of the Anglican Church of Australia - has launched an emergency appeal as the crisis worsens in parts of East Africa due to extreme drought. It hopes to raise 50,000 Australian dollars. In a statement the ABM said: “Our partners, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan & Sudan and the Anglican Church of Kenya are responding to this urgent humanitarian emergency. Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan (and other countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen) due to protracted drought. The people mostly affected are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the communities where they are hosted. More than three million people have been forced to flee their homes and nearly 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection as a result of the ongoing conflict.”
ABM is in contact with the Anglican Alliance about a response by the relief and development arm of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, SUDRA, for food and other emergency relief aid.
The statement said: “It is estimated that 4.9 million people are already food insecure with 100,000 of those facing famine conditions. Conflict and insecurity are the main causes which have led to loss of livelihoods and acute malnutrition. Reports state that one in three children in the southern part of Unity State are severely malnourished.”
Meanwhile the relief agencies of the US-based Episcopal Church and its Anglican partners are considering a possible expansion of their support of relief efforts in South Sudan after the United Nation’s recent famine declaration. Episcopal Relief & Development has been active for more than two years supporting local efforts to provide food aid in South Sudan, through its partners in the Anglican Alliance and by working with relief agencies and diocesan leaders in the country. Nagulan Nesiah, senior programme officer for disaster response and risk reduction says the organisation has a continuing presence in areas that, while not meeting the definition of famine until now, have long been dealing with extreme food shortages – and the famine declaration “has sort of caught up to what has been a reality for the (local) church for the past few years,” he said.
The Episcopal Church is one of several partners within the Anglican Communion that coordinate relief efforts under the umbrella of the Anglican Alliance, which recently held a conference call with Episcopal Relief & Development and other agencies to discuss the worsening situation in South Sudan.
Episcopal Relief & Development plays a leading role in the Anglican Alliance’s work with the Sudanese Development and Relief Agency, or SUDRA, and through those efforts, food packets have been provided to 58,400 people in a dozen dioceses in the country since December 2014, Nagulan Nesiah said.
In addition, the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal is also encouraging people to give generously to alleviate the suffering in South Sudan