Photo:Albin Hillert/WCC

Photo:Albin Hillert/WCC

As part of a Call to Action issued just before an annual meeting of the leaders of the world’s largest economies, the World Council of Churches (WCC), ACT Alliance and All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) urged G20 leaders to take action to overcome hunger and sustain justice and peace in the Horn of Africa.

The G20 summit will open Friday in Hamburg, Germany, where participants will discuss climate, trade and other global issues.

With 1.4 million children at risk of dying from hunger, the G20, along with the rest of the world, must scale up efforts on local, regional, national and global levels to save lives and livelihoods in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, urged the faith-based organizations.

The Call to Action sheds light on situations of conflict, insecurity, displacement and drought that have converged to create a growing - and tragic - hunger crisis that cannot be ignored.

“Conflict is an unacceptable common denominator across all countries currently facing the risk of famine,” reads the Call to Action.

This is compounded by drought in the case of Somalia as well as other nations, said The Rt Rev. Yona M Katoneene, Bishop Emeritus of West Ankole, Church of the Province of Uganda, AACC General Committee member and WCC Central Committee member. “The states of conflict have created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, where insecurity prevents humanitarian relief from reaching many people,” he said.

Establishing peace, resolving conflicts, responding to climate change and promoting  good governance should be priorities on the agenda of the G20, said Bishop Katoneene.

“We call on leaders of the G20 to apply concerted diplomatic pressure on parties responsible for conflicts, to restore peace and stability, so that people can receive assistance, restore basic services, and allow people to rebuild their lives and to live in peace,” said Fr James Oyet Latansio, General Secretary, South Sudan Council of Churches.

The Call to Action also urges a halt to small arms and weapons trade in the region and a commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Global prayer justice - and G20 action

In the run-up to the G20 summit, on Friday 7 July at 18.00 hrs, church communities in Germany and around the world will pray and intercede for justice and peace.

Church leaders, faith-based humanitarian and development leaders, and workers from the Horn of Africa and East Africa, meeting in Nairobi 27-29 June, expressed in this Call to Action their commitment to respond to the immediate and urgent needs of affected communities, in food and humanitarian assistance, to prevent further suffering of people.

“Now we are asking the G20 nations to use their considerable resources to meet the crying needs of the communities,” said Manoj Kurian, coordinator of the WCC Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance. “This requires global solidarity and decisive steps from the G20 nations, which account for 85% of the world economy.”

Only one-third of the required financial contribution toward overcoming famine ($1.7 billion of the required $4.9 billion) has been received.

Call to Action: Faith communities for overcoming hunger and sustaining justice and peace in the Horn of Africa, 29 June 2017

Church leaders pledge action against hunger in the Horn of Africa (WCC news release of 30 June 2017)

Working towards solutions in the Horn of Africa (ACT Alliance news release of 6 July 2017)