Published: 00:00 GMT Standard Time - Tuesday 15 February 2011
Sri Lankan Christians urgently need food after second flood
Country/Region: Sri Lanka, South and East Asia
Christians in Sri Lanka are crying out for food after the country was ravaged by a second wave of extensive flooding in as many months.
People had no sooner returned home after the first flood, which started with heavy rainfall at the end of December and displaced more than 367,000 people, when a fresh deluge hit the east, centre and north of the island last week.
|Barnabas Aid partners load up aid supplies during last month's flooding|
Barnabas Aid had already sent two grants that have helped thousands of Christian families affected by the floods last month and is now about to send more. We are therefore appealing for funds to help those in desperate need following the latest disaster. People are begging for food, which is unheard of in the region even during previous crises. A senior church leader in Sri Lanka said, "You can see from their eyes they are a broken people."
The floods have destroyed vital rice crops, which are normally harvested at this time of year, as well as vegetable crops and the mud houses in which many families live. Long-term help will therefore be required for Christians, as food prices soar and Sri Lanka faces a year of hunger.
|A scene from the first of Sri Lanka's two recent floods|
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, has this weekend been in Sri Lanka meeting with the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) and other Christian partners who have been distributing food aid to affected Christian families.
Many Christians are staying in church buildings, where they are being fed. Over 700 Christian families received food through the first grant Barnabas Aid sent to NCEASL. Each was given a pack containing tea, soya, chick peas, lentils and powdered milk – enough for two weeks. This costs around £4.50 per family (€5.50, US$7.00, AU$7.00, NZ$9.50). Over 1,000 more families now need help from this partner alone.
Another Barnabas Aid partner is feeding at least 3,346 families, while another bought around 10,000 tonnes of food, which it is distributing to 700 Brethren families.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo said:
I am deeply moved by the plight of Christians in Sri Lanka who are suffering once again after a succession of crises – a civil war, a tsunami and now two floods in just two months. Added to this, Sri Lankan Christians are increasingly despised and targeted with discrimination, harassment and violence. I have also been struck by the determination of our Christian partners to get aid to their brothers and sisters, who turn to their churches for help when disaster strikes.
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference 00-634 (Disaster Relief Fund).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/634 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- Thank God that the rain has stopped, and pray that the floodwaters will quickly recede so that people can return to their homes.
- Give thanks for the unceasing efforts of Sri Lankan churches and Christian organisations to help those in need. Pray that they will receive all the funds and resources required.
- Pray that Christians will not lose heart during this latest trial but will be able to testify to God's provision and protection.