A message from the general secretary of the World Council of Churches Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit encouraging people of faith and good will around the world to observe the global day of prayer on 21 May.


Call to Action

Today we, members of more than 100 global, regional and national faith-based organizations and churches representing more than one billion people of faith, are gathered in our communities of worship to observe the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on 21 May 2017.

We are mobilizing prayers and actions to end famine, as we are deeply disturbed that more people face famine today than at any time in modern history. Famine has been declared by the United Nations in South Sudan, while Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen are on the brink of famine. The situation has been precipitated by a deadly combination of drought, conflicts, marginalization and weak governance.  Across these four countries, 20 million people face starvation and many millions more across the world are experiencing alarming levels of hunger. Malnutrition is having a disastrous impact and, as ever, children are among the worst affected, becoming increasingly vulnerable and affected negatively for life.  In fact, 1.4 million children could die of severe acute malnutrition in the coming months. Additionally, 27 million people lack access to safe water in the four countries at risk of famine, increasing the threat of cholera and other water-borne diseases.

In spite of sincere efforts by many, there is great danger that on its current course, the  response to this global crisis will be hugely inadequate and will lead to unimaginable suffering and death.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35

We are commanded to see the divine in those who are suffering and to respect their dignity.  At the same time we are called to appreciate people’s resilience and the solutions they provide. Food is more than a human right; it is a divine gift that cannot be impeded. We are calling on all our faithful, to mobilize their congregations and organizations, the wider society and governments, to make a difference during this unprecedented period of suffering.

But the most disastrous effects of this crisis can be avoided if we act together to:

1.   Respond to the acute and urgent need for resources.

There is huge shortfall in resources being committed to fund life-saving aid. So far only $1.3 billion of the $4.9 billion needed has been received. The rest is urgently required.  We have to hold ourselves, our societies and our governments accountable to marshall the resources needed to address this crisis and get those resources on the ground as soon as possible.

2.   Commit to work for peace through addressing the drivers of conflict and injustice.

We resolve to foster peace in communities before and after conflicts breaks out; hold governments and others who are in power accountable for perpetrating human rights abuses and escalating, rather than de-escalating conflicts; and partner with governments to build up institutions and civil society for respecting the rule of law.

3.   Address the root causes of extreme hunger over the long term through sustainable development.

We resolve to address the issues of:
     a.  Climate change, which impacts the poor disproportionately
     b.  Gender inequity, which perpetuates injustice and impoverishment of families and communities
     c.  Support for male and female smallholder farmers, who produce the majority of the world’s food but often lack secure rights to the productive resources, such as land, water, seeds, markets and financial means, which would help them to have food security and to live with dignity.
     d.  Peacebuilding and conflict resolution at the community, national and global levels.

May the grace of God dispel the droughts and famine within us and surrounding and transform the world, reflecting the love and faithfulness of God. May God’s mercy make even the driest land become a garden, and restore life to dry bones within us and around us.  (Ezekiel 37:1-14).



ACT Alliance
All Africa Conference of Churches
Anglican Alliance
Arigatou International
Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa
Caritas in Veritate International
Catholic Union of Superiors General
Christian Conference of Asia
Christian Connections for International
Community of St. Eggidio
Faith & Justice Network of the Mano River      Basin Countries (Western Africa)
Fracarita International (Brothers of Charity)
Food for the Hungry
Global Christian Forum


ADRA Canada
All We Can - Methodist Relief and
     Development (UK)
American Friends of the Episcopal Church      of the Sudans
Anglican Diocese of Edmonton
Anglican Parish of Ipswich North
Armenia Interchurch Roundtable
ARISE Church New Zealand
Association des églises évangéliques
     réformées du Burkina Faso (AEERB)
Association Évangélique pour la santé au
Association of Franciscan Families of India
Bread for the World (USA)
Canadian Baptist Ministries
Canadian Foodgrains Bank
Carlisle/Kilbride, United Church of Canada
Centro La Pietà
Christian Council of Nigeria
Christian World Service (NZ)
Christ Church Anglican (Canada)
Church of Scotland
Church of Sweden
Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children
    and Families
Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa
Ecumenical Council for Drought Action
     and Water Management - India
Eglise Protestante Méthodiste du Bénin
Epimu Epimaque Munyankindi, Rwanda
Episcopal Church of Guatemala
Eucharistic Catholic Church (Canada)
Ev.-luth Missionswerk, Niedersachsen
Evangelical Association of Malawi


Global Ministries of the Disciples of Christ
     and United Church of Christ
IMA World Health
Lutheran World Federation
Medical Mission Sisters
Methodist Church of Southern Africa
Oikotree Movement
Organisation of African Instituted
Prayer and Action for Children
Presbyterian Church of East Africa
     Women's Guild
Presbyterian World Service &
    Development (Canada)
Religions for Peace
Salvation Army International


Evangelical Church of India, Kolkata
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada
Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana
Evangelical-Reformed Congregation in
     Warsaw, Poland
Evangelische Gemeinde Deutscher
     Sprache in Ethiopia
Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland
Evangelisches Missionswerk in
Feba Radio UK
Galewood CUCC
German Protestant Church in Thailand
Glenwood United Church (Canada)
Gongabu Christian Church (Nepal)
Gospel Fellowship of India
Independence UMC (US)
Institute of Church and Society, Ibadan
Jamaica Council of Churches
Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church
Kindernothilfe e.V
Lippische Landeskirche (Germany)
Lutheran Church of Australia
Lutheran World Service India Trust
Mennonite Brethren Church (Malawi)
Mennonite Central Committee Canada
Mennonite Church of India
Methodist Church of New Zealand Te
     Haahi Weteriana o Aotearoa
National Council of Churches of India
National Council of Churches in the


Sisters of Mercy International Association
United Evangelical Mission
United Methodist Church, Global
Uniting Reformed Church in Southern
World Communion of Reformed Churches
World Council of Churches
World Evangelical Alliance
World Food Programme
World Methodist Council
World Renew
World Vision International
World YMCA


Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ
Primate's World Relief and Development
     Fund (Canada)
Protestant Youth Federation in Germany
Ramah Christian Center (US)
South Sudan Council of Churches
St. Alban's Church (Washington, DC)
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Ottawa
Trinity United Methodist Church
    Gloucester City, NJ
UCCP Bulanao Capitol Church
United Christian Action New Delhi
United Church of Canada
United Church of Christ (US)
Verband der Evangelischen Studierenden
     Gemeinden in Deutschland (ESG)
Vuga Bible School (Tanzania)
Wellspring Community Australia
World Day of Prayer USA
World Relief Canada
YWCA Kenya
Zimbabwe Association of Church Related
Zimbabwe Council of Churches

Learn more about the hunger crises HERE.

To join as a partner, please let us know HERE.

For all media inquiries, please contact: Marianne Ejdersten, mej@wcc-coe.org, +41 79 507 63 63