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As hunger and disease claim more lives,
some ask if Africa can be saved

Famine in Africa
Starvation in Africa
AIDS Orphans in Africa
Africa Children
Africa Mission Work
Famine in Africa

AFRICA - At the dawn of a new millennium, the continent that some say witnessed the birth of the first human civilizations -- may be dying. As widespread drought, starvation and the unchecked spread of deadly diseases continue -- the numbers of people dying on a daily basis throughout Africa is staggering.

In many parts of Africa, the production of food depends upon the intense manual labor of every family. When large areas of Africa are dislocated by war especially southern Sudan where a war of ethnic cleansing is being waged, or adults die from the scourge of AIDS, fields cannot be worked, and food cannot be produced. Many, especially women and children are forced to depend upon hand outs of food. Unpredictable weather can also aggravate the situation.

Starvation is claiming lives. One international relief agency recently discovered a village in a remote region of West Africa where more than 18,000 people were on the verge of starvation. "Malnutrition is so great in this area," a relief worker explained, "that most of the children under five years old had starved to death before we arrived. An entire hillside was covered with fresh graves of the children who had recently died."

Saving a Dying Continent

What can we do ... when it is too late?

Children are the most at risk: "The children are our biggest priority," explains Fr. Richard Roy. Fr. Roy lived as a missionary for more than 20 years before returning to Washington, DC, to head the Missionaries of Africa's development office. "We are trying to focus on providing our people with the medical care, nutrition, education and shelter they need to survive this crisis. If we can do this, then Africa will have a future."

"So many people here in the United States haven't been able to grasp the magnitude of the crisis facing African men, women and children," explains Fr. Richard Roy. Fr. Roy is director of the Missionaries of Africa's Washington, DC, office. "An entire continent of people are in dire need of food, clean water and affordable medicine. That's why we are making more emergency appeals for relief . . . because this truly is a situation like the world has never seen before!" The Missionaries of Africa are currently providing emergency aid and other forms of relief to people in more than 20 African countries.

"It will only be too late for the children when we give up on them," Fr. Roy continued. "As soon as we do that, then they have little hope for survival. You see, many of the children have no where else to turn for help. They have so little food, clothing, medicine . . . they need us for everything. That's why I am desperately praying that the people here in the United States will understand how important they are to the survival of Africa. Without our help, there will be no Africa. Its life, its beauty, its children will eventually die. In so many ways, the future of Africa is in our hands!"

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