Guest / Limited Access /
Undoing the Famine Damage
Courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse

"You can blame droughts on God, but famines are manmade. This shouldn't be happening."

So said humanitarian rock star Bono in a recent interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on the current crisis in the Horn of Africa. More than 30,000 children under age 5 have died in the famine in the past four months, and another 12 million people are at risk of starvation. The number of dead was expected to increase significantly as this edition of Christianity Today went to press.

As Bono and other activists have pointed out, solutions are possible. "Since famine is manmade, it can be undone by human activity and human intervention," said former senator William Frist, who recently visited the area as part of a U.S. delegation. Scientists, politicians, and aid organizations knew up to 18 months ago that the drought—Africa's worst in 60 years—was coming, but lacked the resources and access to avert the famine that would almost certainly accompany it. Preemptive aid, including food, water, medical supplies, and agricultural assistance, prepared millions of Kenyans and Ethiopians to survive. But millions more in war-torn Somalia never received such help, and many are still unreachable due to fighting and factions, particularly where the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab is active. As a result, hundreds of thousands have poured out of the country into refugee camps in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

The U.S. federal government has sent more than $580 million, but with a debt crisis and a Congress looking to cut spending, it is calling on the private sector, particularly the faith-based community, to step up. (By comparison, the government sent about $1 billion to the Horn of Africa during ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueA Fully Biblical Liberation Theology
Subscriber Access Only A Fully Biblical Liberation Theology
Free at first: an excerpt from 'Chaos and Grace.'
RecommendedWhy Tim Keller, Max Lucado, and Hundreds of Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban
Why Tim Keller, Max Lucado, and Hundreds of Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban
Regardless of court fight’s final outcome, fewer persecuted Christians will make it to America under president’s plan.
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickA Tale of Two Calvary Chapels: Behind the Movement’s Split
A Tale of Two Calvary Chapels: Behind the Movement’s Split
Chuck Smith’s successor says he is expanding founder’s vision. Other leaders say he’s diluting it.
Christianity Today
Undoing the Famine Damage
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.