SIM International is spearheading an $8.2 million famine relief-and-development program in southern Ethiopia. The effort will be bolstered by personnel, cash contributions, and supplies of food and medicine from relief agencies, mission societies, churches, and individuals in several countries.

SIM International (formerly Sudan Interior Mission) is a nondenominational mission agency that has worked in Ethiopia since 1927. In addition to its evangelistic and discipleship ministries, the mission has been active in agricultural and water development projects.

The $8.2 million program, which includes cash outlays, food, and medical supplies, could triple SIM’s Ethiopian relief work in the next six months. SIM already operates 10 food distribution bases and feeds 15,000 famine victims. As many as 7 million Ethiopians are in desperate need of food and medical treatment. Diseases such as typhus, pneumonia, dysentery, meningitis, and measles are claiming the lives of many hunger-weakened victims. A recent government study of a district where SIM already is working reported that more than half of the district’s 500,000 people need immediate assistance.

Several relief agencies are helping SIM recruit additional teams of nurses, nutritionists, relief experts, and support personnel to move into new areas of need in southern Ethiopia. SIM general director Ian Hay said the increased capacity will enable the mission to provide food and medical care for some 14,000 Ethiopian families—upwards of 70,000 malnourished people.

Hay said that SIM already has secured the Marxist government’s permission for three additional relief teams to begin working in the country. In addition, he said, the government’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) ...

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