MCC requests funds for East Africa drought response

By Linda Espenshade | Mennonite Central Committee release
AKRON, Pa.
To help people of Kenya affected by the drought and food crisis, MCC will support food-for-work programs similar to the one these Kenyan men and women are working on. Sand dams help to conserve water that can be used for irrigation during the dry season.

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is appealing for donations in response to a critical drought and food crisis in East Africa, which has affected about 11 million people. MCC is responding in Kenya with food-for-work projects, while in Ethiopia, MCC funds are expected to be used for supplemental food for children under age 5 and lactating or pregnant women. As the impact of the crisis grows, MCC anticipates the potential for an expanded and ongoing response in these countries.



Two consecutive, poor rainy seasons have caused drought in large sections of Kenya and Ethiopia, where MCC has worked for at least 35 years. In addition to crop failure and many livestock deaths, the situation is exacerbated by high, local grain prices and areas of conflict.



MCC is committing $1.2 million through Canadian Foodgrains Bank to support two food-for-work programs in Kenya. Kenyans will be paid with cooking oil, maize and beans for their construction of 92 sand dams and 25 wells. These water-conservation projects, done through partner organizations, the Sahelian Solutions Foundation and the Utooni Development Organization, will help minimize the impact of future droughts.



In Ethiopia, MCC’s partner, the Relief and Development Association (RDA) of the Meserete Kristos Church, will use an initial $200,000 from MCC to help the most vulnerable in the Boricha area, 240 km south of the capital, Addis Ababa. Representatives from MCC and RDA are consulting with the community to determine the most effective way to address its ongoing needs. Meserete Kristos Church is an Anabaptist denomination and member of Mennonite World Conference.



MCC also is assessing the possibility of responding to the needs of Somali refugees who are pouring into Ethiopia and Kenya by the tens of thousands.



Donations to support MCC’s response can be made online, mcc.org, or at any MCC office. Gifts should be designated for “East Africa Drought Response.” MCC encourages you also to pray for the people of East Africa at this time of crisis.

To help people of Kenya affected by the drought and food crisis, MCC will support food-for-work programs similar to the one these Kenyan men and women are working on. Sand dams help to conserve water that can be used for irrigation during the dry season.

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