press

World Evangelical Alliance in solidarity after the visit to Somalia

August 25, 2011
August 24, 2011

The Global Ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance has visited Somalia in a show of support as the country battles with widespread instability and one of the worst famines in six decades. 

Dr Brian Stiller was in capital Mogadishu on August 11 and 12, just days after African Union forces swept Al Shabaab from the city. 

The al-Qaeda-linked group led the country into ruin during its 20-year reign of oppression and violence, which saw Christian aid groups forced out of the country. 

Although Al Shabaab is in retreat, aid groups have not yet been invited to return, despite the urgent need to feed, shelter and care for millions of Somalis affected by the famine. 

Dr Stiller visited refugee camps where he described a virtual absence of aid agencies and food provision despite the encroaching famine. 

Mogadishu is a wasted landscape of bombed out buildings and shattered marketplaces.

Dr Stiller said: “Famine and political turmoil have combined to create a human tragedy of epic proportions and it’s in times such as this, that a visit in person can do so much to comfort, to revive shattered hope, and restore faith in humanity.”

He called upon the international community to work together in helping Somalia during its hour of need: 

“With millions of people needlessly starving to death, world governments must act now to help stabilise the country after the retreat of Al Shabaab, and help to secure the delivery and distribution of aid.”

Dr Stiller was accompanied on his visit by the General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, Aiah Foday-Khabenje.

Mr Foday-Khabenje commented: “
The humanitarian challenge has heightened to unprecedented proportions with 12 million people facing the devastation that both famine and poverty bring.”

The Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) has initiated a three year programme in response to the crisis and is appealing for practical and prayerful support.

In addition, Integral, a global alliance of Christian relief and development agencies, currently have thirteen of their sixteen Members responding either directly or through their local partners in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, N. Uganda and Southern Sudan.

These Members are
CEDAR Fund (Hong Kong); Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (USA/ Canada); Integra (Slovakia); MAP International (US); SEL (France); TEAR (Australia); Tear (Netherlands); Tearfund (Belgium); Tear Fund (Switzerland); TEAR Fund (New Zealand); Tearfund (UK); World Relief (Canada); and World Relief (US).   Integral’s Report is found at http://www.worldevangelicals.org/news/article.htm?id=3609&cat=main 

Dr Stiller added: “We need our global community to see that amidst desperate challenges come opportunities to demonstrate true Christ-like compassion.   From wherever you are, you can pray for the victims, pray for our Members serving in East Africa, and support these agencies as they provide hope and relief to the immense suffering of millions of people.”

Contact: WEA Communications, wea@worldevangelicals.org

The World Evangelical Alliance is made up of 128 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and104 associate member organizations and global networks. The WEA is the world's largest association of evangelical Christians serving a constituency of 600 million people. The WEA is a voice to governments, media, and other faith communities and holds consultative status at the United Nations.