Today is the first week that we have reduced our feeding program to half of what we have been doing through April and May. We are still giving the same amount of food for each family (22 pounds corn flour, 11 pounds of dry beans, and one 12 inch long bar of soap) to last for one week.
We are thankful that the country is slowly having the restrictions lifted, but it looks like through June 1st lockdown remains in place for non-essential workers.
In addition to this, about fifty people/families have approached us who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis, and some of those are due to businesses having closed with no immediate expectation that they will be able to re-open.
Our current plans are to provide food assistance next week similar to this week (which is for about half as many families as the first eight weeks of the crisis), and then after the week ending June 8, see how many families still need assistance due to job losses.
We definitely do not want to create dependency, and this is something we think about in all of the relief work we do. We are always seeking to help people be self-sufficient, through providing skills and opportunities for work and dignity. At the same time, we do not want to abandon people that we can help who are truly facing destitution, and do not have anywhere to turn for help.
We thank the Lord for this privilege of helping those in need, and we are grateful for the many who have helped us to respond, and continue to respond as this crisis begins to lessen, and as more people can get back to work. We are grateful for the prayers and help of everyone who has joined us in this service to Christ and those He loves. As Jesus said, "Whatever you did to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me."
21 April 2020
Humanitarian Aid The world is not only facing “a global health pandemic but also a global humanitarian catastrophe”, the UN food relief agency chief told the Security Council on Tuesday via video link.
World Food Programme✔@WFPWFP Chief warns of hunger pandemic as #COVID19 spreads.
Noting that the global spread of COVID-19 this year has sparked “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley pointed to deepening crises, more frequent natural disasters and changing weather patterns, saying “we’re already facing a perfect storm”.
As millions of civilians in conflict-scarred nations teeter on the brink of starvation, he said, “famine is a very real and dangerous possibility”.
Mr. Beasley painted a grim picture of 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse, coupled with an additional 130 million on the edge of starvation prompted by Coronavirus, noting that WFP currently offers a lifeline to nearly 100 million people – up from about 80 million just a few years ago.
“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period”, he upheld. “This does not include the increase of starvation due to COVID-19”.
Requesting assistanceNoting that WFP is the “logistics backbone” for humanitarians and “even more so now for the global effort to beat the COVID-19 pandemic”, the WFP chief urged the Council to “lead the way”.
“First and foremost, we need peace”, he said.
He asked that all involved in the fighting provide “swift and unimpeded” humanitarian access to vulnerable communities and for coordinated action to support life-saving assistance, along with $350 million in new funding, to set up a network of logistics hubs to keep worldwide humanitarian supply chains moving.
Mr. Beasley also raised the need for early warning systems: “If we don’t prepare and act now – to secure access, avoid funding shortfalls and disruptions to trade – we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months.”
In closing, he underlined that “we do not have time on our side, so let’s act wisely – and let’s act fast”.
By Ralph Kurtenbach, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (605) 728-3079 (WhatsApp), May 14, 2020, Nyanza, Rwanda