Tuesday, October 4, 2005
By BosNewsLife News Center
OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO (BosNewsLife)-- Christians in the West African nation of Burkina Faso have appealed for help as especially children are "beginning to be affected by diseases linked to malnutrition and deficiency," a Christian aid group said Monday, October 3.
"The famine afflicting the [neighboring] state of Niger is also causing suffering in other countries of the region, particularly Burkina Faso," said Barnabas Fund in a statement to BosNewsLife.
Adding to the difficulties is Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources which analysts say result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens.
Recent unrest in Cote d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has also hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said recently.
Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960, but repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s has lead to serious economic difficulties. Following multiparty elections in the early 1990s, poverty remained with live expectancy hovering around 44 years.
Barnabas Fund, which supports both persecuted Christians and believers living in difficult
circumstances in especially Muslim nations, said it was seeking support "to provide two months supplies to families in Kaya, Kongoussi, Ouahigouya, Ziniare and two districts near the capital Ouagadougou."
Burkina Faso, where Christians comprise roughly 18 percent of the nearly 14 million strong population, ranks 175 out of 177 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index of 1993, Barnabas Fund said.
The organization stressed it was already able to provide support to "starving Christians in Niger" and is now struggling to start the same activities in landlocked Burkina Faso. "Barnabas Fund has provided flour, rice, vitamins and medicines to Christians in the city of Maradi and eight outlying communities near the city [in Niger]. Aid was given to 539 families, 16 single people and two Bible schools."
"It is the first time that an aid distribution has been effective and has gone directly to those concerned,” a Nigerian Christian organization which organized the distribution reportedly wrote. Donations for Barnabas Fund's Burkina Faso can be provided via its secure weblink https://secure.barnabasfund.org/ , the organization said. Its e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and website www.barnabasfund.org.
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