By Kristen Johnson
Madagascar has faced three years of drought and they are on the brink of absolute disaster. More than 90% of the island nation’s population lives below the poverty line, so the drought has exacerbated an already dire situation. More than half the population is now experiencing alarming levels of hunger. (Huffington Post).
Given the extreme conditions in Madagascar and the suffering of the people, particularly children, it is incredible that the situation has not been reported on a wider scale in the media. Christians have been instructed repeatedly in the Bible to serve the poor, so it is our duty to help. People of all faiths, and people without any faith, should be compelled to help. The stories of starving children, drought conditions, and human suffering are heartbreaking to say the least.
What can we do to help? Just a little bit of research will lead you to several agencies that can help. Action Against Hunger is helping in Madagascar and they earned a 4-star rating on CharityNavigator.org. They are assisting with nutritional support, access to safe water and sanitation, and helping people in gaining economic self-sufficiency. You can donate to the cause on their site at: http://www.actionagainsthunger.org/countries/africa/madagascar.
Another agency that I have long supported is Kiva.org. A micro-finance loan can be made to any country, including Madagascar with a simple search for a loan in that country, quickly and easily online. Kiva also gets the highest rating on Charity Navigator and they work through lending to alleviate poverty. Loans can be made here: http://www.kiva.org.
The time to help is now. We cannot allow people to continue to suffer needlessly.
Proverbs 28:27 (NRSV): Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but one who turns a blind eye will get many a curse.
Serve all with love.
Photo courtesy of: stocksnap.io