In the midst of all the hoo-hah and hullaballoo about Brexit and another Scottish independence referendum, there was an arguably much more important story in the news this week.
On Wednesday, the Disasters Emergency Committee broadcast an emergency appeal for the millions of people in East Africa who are slowly, inexorably starving to death. It has been called the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945. Around 16 million people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan are on the brink of starvation and urgently need food, water and medical treatment.
The problem is largely our own doing. As Dr. Alex Awiti, director of the East African Institute in Kenya puts it, “This shameful scale of starvation, disease and death, especially of children, women and the elderly, is unconscionable because it is man-made.”*
At times like this, in situations like this, it often seems as if there is no hope. But there is.
Mankind may be the problem, but we also have the solution in our hands. We produce enough food to feed 10 billion people, 30% more than the global population. And there is more than enough money to get it to the point of need.
But there’s a missing piece in the jigsaw and Jesus knew what it was. In his famous sermon on the Mount, he said, “Blessed are those who hunger…for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Jesus understood that it takes one kind of hunger to satisfy another. Unless humankind desires to put things right, it just won’t happen.
However, in this instance it seems we do. And it has.
First of all, the Queen announced she was making a personal donation to the fund. Then the government said it would match the first £5m donated by the public. And this morning I turned on the television and was greeted by the encouraging news that in just 24 hours the concerned and generous British public have already given £7m.
It is encouraging to know there are still many in the UK who have the right kind of hunger.
All the very best,