Displaying items by tag: Humanitarian Crisis
Last week we prayed for North Korea after Covid reached it. The World Council of Churches (WCC) has now warned of a major humanitarian crisis. There are rising Covid cases (currently 1.2 million) and 50+ deaths. 5% of the population is being monitored. The population is unvaccinated, and without adequate ventilators or other essential supplies the risk of an unprecedented death toll is very high. This outbreak greatly compounds the pre-existing humanitarian situation, particularly related to food insecurity. The WCC is calling for urgent humanitarian responses by the international community which are equal to the gravity of the crisis. In particular, newly developed antivirals such as Paxlovid must be provided as a matter of urgency, as well as diagnostics, ventilators, PPE, vaccines, and other medical needs, as well as essential food supplies. WCC wants centralised coordinated approaches through the UN, and for current sanctions to be lifted as a matter of fundamental ethical and humanitarian responsibility.
On 17 November Belarus provided temporary shelter for 1,000 freezing hungry migrants camping on its border with Poland, wanting to enter the EU. For months, thousands of men, women and children have been amassing at Belarus's western borders. Belarus has been accused of pushing migrants, mostly from Iraq, to the border to destabilise the EU. Belarus's long-time authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, has denied luring migrants to the border in revenge for EU sanctions. Iraqi Airways confirmed it would send a plane to Belarus on 18 December to take its citizens home. The EU has asked Middle Eastern countries to stop flights to Belarus; several have agreed. Poland, with EU backing, is determined not to let the migrants into the bloc and warned that the border and humanitarian crisis may go on for months. The situation will not be resolved quickly. See also
Kasia Wappa lives by Poland’s national park where a humanitarian crisis is unfolding on a scale not seen since World War 2. She is part of a network trying to save emaciated Middle Eastern immigrants who have been emerging from the wilderness since September. Most had spent days without food or water and were suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion. Some were sick from drinking swamp water. Kasia began by donating warm clothes, and now helps rescue parties retrieve lost and starving people from the woods. But the flow of migrants has increased, and she warns that many probably never make it. Ten deaths have been confirmed, and they have rescued many on the verge of dying. The Polish government has built a three-kilometre deep security cordon the length of its Belarus border to curb illegal immigration. All reporters are banned, creating a media blackout to hide the scale of the crisis. Rescuers now behave like insurgents, operating at night and evading police patrols.
Afghanistan is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. International funds which propped up the country’s fragile economy have stopped as the world debates how to deal with the Taliban. The UN has issued a stark warning - millions will die if urgent aid does not reach Afghanistan soon. A BBC video revealed a family forced to sell their baby to feed the rest of the family and other dire situations. 22.8 million people facing acute food insecurity. 3.2 million children under five could suffer acute malnutrition. The Taliban takeover weakened a fragile economy heavily dependent on foreign aid. Western powers, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund have suspended aid on this aid-dependent nation.
Volcanic eruptions on St Vincent have displaced about 20% of the Caribbean island’s population, as a UN official warned of a growing humanitarian crisis. Between 16,000 to 20,000 people were evacuated under government orders when La Soufrière volcano first erupted on 9 April, covering the island with ash that continues to blanket St Vincent, Barbados, and other islands. 6,000 of those evacuees are vulnerable. 20,000 risk food insecurity from loss of livelihoods in fisheries & agriculture. 4,000 are living in 87 government shelters, schools, churches and others are in hotels. Most of the water systems are shut down. Cots, sanitation, hygiene and emergency latrines are urgently needed. Ongoing explosions are causing new pyroclastic flows that could continue for weeks.
A humanitarian crisis is deepening in South Asia as new figures reveal that over 9.6 million people have been affected by monsoon floods, devastating large areas of India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Pray for the millions of people marooned in their homes, with crops destroyed by the worst floods in recent years. This year’s monsoon has come at the height of a deadly global pandemic. Tragically, already 550 people have lost their lives. Close to one third of Bangladesh has already been flooded, with forecasts of worse flooding in the coming days. Pray for God's comfort to be over those living in fear of worsening weather and deadly pandemic enemy. Pray for those mourning the death of friends and family killed by landslides, drowning and sickness. Pray also for the aid agencies and the various ministries of disaster management to have clear communication strategies to work in united support of the vulnerable.
ABUJA, NIGERIA – Chuck Holton of CBN visited a refugee camp for people who have been internally displaced from their villages in the north and to the west. 'There are about 2.5 million internally displaced people within Nigeria, and that makes this one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world right now. And the thing that all of these people have in common is that they are Christians,' said Chuck.
Much of Boko Haram's terror is directed at Christians. Enoch Yeohanna was in a village invaded by them. "They started with burning churches, killing the pastors, and killing the members. Shutting them down," he said.
“On 29 September 2014 was the day that they attacked my village. Around ten I had a call that they have killed my dad. They asked him to deny Christ and when he refused they cut off his right hand. Then he refused [again], they cut to the elbow. In which he refused, before they shot him in the forehead, the neck, and chest," Yeohanna went on.
Many of the 1,500 Christians living in this camp have similar stories.
The Nigerian military has mounted large offensives against Boko Haram in recent months, and even with heavy losses on both sides, there seems to be no end in sight. Despite the hardships, these displaced Christians are firm believers in the power of prayer.
"If there is peace, there is nothing that will stop us from going there," Enoch Yeohanna said.
"My faith has helped my prayer life and I believe the prayers of the saints around the world have helped us make it through these tough times,"
Enoch's neighbour, Aisha Walla said -"My hope is that God will bring all those displaced back to their homes so we can worship God together and live in peace."
Pray: for the thousands of families displaced in this disaster, largely Christian – that they will find strength to endure these times of hardship and that they will soon be able to return to their homes safely.
Pray: for those living with the traumas and shocking memories, for healing of their minds and peace.
Pray: that those aligned with Boko Haram will find Jesus, repent and turn from their wicked ways.
Over sixty people have died following floods across Iran. 78 intercity roads are blocked, 2,199 rural roads and 84 bridges have been washed away. 141 rivers burst their banks, and 400 landslides were reported. Floods have damaged nearly 7,500 miles of roads (36% of the country’s network). Government and aid agencies came under severe criticism for their efforts being too small in scale and unable to cope with the acute needs of tens of thousands of flood victims. Emergency services sent four helicopters to Pol-e Dokhtar because land routes to the city are cut off. Many people are in tents. A parliament member warned President Rouhani, ‘People facing a tragedy urgently need food, drinking water, medicine and warm clothes’.The lack of order and planning is widespread. Pray for the thousands sheltering in the open with little food, clean water or warm clothes in often rainy weather.
The UN has said that, in a worst-case scenario, as many as 250,000 people could be killed in a new offensive against Hodeidah, currently under the control of Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The city is a lifeline for the country's war-ravaged population. 90% of food, fuel and medicines in Yemen are imported, with 70% coming through Hodeidah. On 12 June an offensive against the city started at dawn. Yemen's information minister hailed it as ‘the beginning of a complete victory to liberate Yemen's territory all the way to the capital of Sanaa.’ The Saudi-led coalition, including the UAE, has been in a virtual stalemate with the Houthis since March 2015. The Houthis use the port to raise revenues through looting, extortion, and illegal taxation imposed on commercial ships to finance and sustain their military aggression against Yemen and neighbouring countries. Observers say that if the Houthis dig in this could be a bloody street battle, comparable to Aleppo.
Violent flare-ups in Central African Republic (CAR) have sent thousands fleeing for their lives. The UN said that over 5,000 refugees have arrived in southern Chad since 27 December, fleeing from north-western CAR. Over 75,000 people were already in camps before the recent influx; many walked long distances to escape violence. Although the border is officially closed, as a humanitarian gesture authorities are allowing refugees to cross. Widespread human rights abuses are being reported, and UNHCR said that over 1.1 million people have been displaced, both within the country and as refugees. Because of the fighting, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) has had to suspend its work in the seven health centres in outlying districts of Paoua. An estimated 30,000 who fled dangerous outlying areas are now taking refuge in Paoua. See