Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, in partnership with Virginia Baptist Mission Board (USA), are in the process of shipping a 20 foot container with 142,560 meals to Liberia, as part of relief operations in response to the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. South African sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, has also made a contribution to this relief effort.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the 2014 Ebola outbreak is one of the largest in history and affects Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. To date, more than 1,848 deaths are attributed to suspected cases of the virus. As a result, there are reported incidences of food shortages, starvation and a general increase in food insecurity in the region.
Liberia, one of the world's least developed nations, has poor Internet and telecommunications, and only about 50 doctors for a population of over 4 million. Fear of the outbreak spreading has also forced surrounding countries to close their borders, which has effectively stopped trade. Liberians use the U.S. dollar as day-to-day currency, and therefore trade into Liberia is popular.
Rod Brooks, Stop Hunger Now President and CEO based in Raleigh, USA, connected Barry Mey, Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa’s CEO, to Dean Miller, of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. Dean secured funding to cover both the shipment cost of meals from Johannesburg South Africa, to two schools in Liberia, as well as the cost of the meals being shipped. The container is expected to arrive in Liberia in November 2014. Keep an eye out for updates on this initiative.
How can you help?
The number of meals sent to Liberia in humanitarian relief will be restocked for our ECD Connect programme utilising public packaging events, as well as the upcoming World Food Day event at Fourways Crossing on Saturday 18 October 2014. We need to ensure that these events are well supported by investors in emergency relief, as well as volunteers. Our aim is to package 150 000 meals. We need your commitment to make this happen.
If you are keen to volunteer at a meal packaging event to help us restock our warehouse, click here for a dates and locations of an event near you.