Prayer #133: For World Hunger During the Coronavirus Crisis
The COVID-19 virus and the restrictions stemming from it are contributing to a rise in world hunger, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). That organization states that starvation related to COVID-19 is killing 10,000 children a month. Half of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, 500,000 children in the world are experiencing "wasting," a condition from malnutrition that leads to spindly arms and legs and distended stomachs. UNICEF officials believe that, given the restrictive conditions globally due to COVID-19, this latter number will soon extend to tens of millions.
There is less food in rural areas in many developing countries of the world where, due to the virus restrictions, farmers struggle to get their crops to market. And, increasingly in these places, access to health care is difficult. One of many examples of this is the African nation of Burkina Faso, which had food shortages before the pandemic but where now this situation has been greatly acerbated so that one in five children are chronically malnourished and 12 million of the nation's population of 20 million are not getting enough to eat. Two days ago, the medical journal The Lancet published an estimate that due to increases in child malnutrition and the decrease in available health services stemming from the COVID pandemic, a projected 128,605 lives of children five and under will be lost. Many more children are dying from hunger than COVID-19.
Pray that food and health services can be brought to the many needy areas around the world during this devastating global pandemic. Pray that the $2.4 billion in aid that the United Nations is appealing for in order to respond to this hunger crisis during COVID-19 can be raised. Pray that the virus would subside in these regions so that farmers can get their crops to the markets. Pray ultimately for God's mercy and that He would intervene with His strong arm.
Deut. 15:1: "For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and the poor, in your land."