Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine?
More people face famine today than any time in modern history. Famine has been declared in areas of South Sudan, with Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen are on the brink of famine. More than 20 million people are at risk of starvation in these four countries alone. Globally, millions more suffer from drought and food shortages – in one year alone, the number of people requiring urgent lifesaving food support has jumped 35% to 108 million. In this desperate situation children suffer most and become increasingly vulnerable. The UN is calling this the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, the end of World War II.

There is great danger that on its current course, the global response to this crisis will be hugely inadequate and will lead to unimaginable suffering and death, which is eminently avoidable.

  © Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance

What’s causing the famines?
Famines are much more than simple lack of food. They are the result of conflict, drought, poverty and global inaction, and in many cases they are preventable.

Who is calling for a day of prayer?
The Global Day of Prayer to End Famine is a faith-based response to the current hunger crisis. At the invitation of the World Council of Churches, a fellowship of 348 member churches in more than 110 countries, together representing over 560 million Christians, and the All Africa Council of Churches, the Global Day of Prayer brings together a wide range of church networks and traditions, ecumenical partners and faith-based organizations to join in prayers, to overcome hunger and famine. See a full list of partners supporting the day of prayer HERE.

  © Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance

What should we be praying for?
Food is more than a human right; it is a divine gift that cannot be impeded. Hunger crises are preventable, if we reflect, act, and move together. We believe churches have a prophetic voice in calling its members, wider society, and governments to make a difference during this unprecedented period of suffering. We are joining together to pray for justice and peace, for an end to the violence that hurts both current and future generations, for the children and families in immediate need, and for those who make sacrifices while responding to the crisis. More prayer points and information are available.

Why is 21 May a critical date?
The window to deliver life-saving assistance is closing. In 2011, conflict created extreme food shortages in Somalia and more than 260,000 people lost their lives - half died before famine was declared and the full scale of tragedy was not known for years. We cannot wait until famines are officially declared - action must be taken now in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen. The Global Day of Prayer to End Famine will take place 21 May, which is also the last Sunday before the G7 Summit on 26-27 May in Italy, where world leaders will meet to discuss the state of the world. We pray that world leaders will come together to take action.

Are other faiths welcome to participate in the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine?
The Global Day of Prayer to End Famine is an open call to all people of faith and good will. The call is not limited to a particular tradition, religion or denomination. It is hoped that leaders of different religions will gather their faithful to observe the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine, helping refection, action and advocacy, to bring about a positive impact in the lives of millions who are suffering hunger, starvation and insecurity. 

We encourage the faith leaders to convene their faithful, and to convey targeted messages that help people to see this important issue through the lens of one's own faith. The prayers, reflections, songs and worship, praying for the end of famine, will challenge individuals and communities to act and to invoke God’s blessing on their intervention. There is also the possibility of sharing resources for prayer, to be adapted to serve different religious contexts. This could also lead to opportunities for interfaith gatherings and prayers related to the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine.

How can I involve my faith community?
Encourage your faith community to join in prayer on 21 May. You can find resources and links to ways your community can respond HERE.