14 June 2002

President appeals for help to tackle food crisis in southern Africa

The President of the Methodist Conference has written to all Methodist ministers in Britain, urging the Methodist people to support relief efforts in southern Africa. UK agencies, including the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF), have voiced significant concern that millions of people are at risk of starvation in the southern African region. MRDF's efforts are part of what may be the largest mobilisation of development agencies for more than a decade to tackle a major threat of famine.

The full text of the letter from  the President of the Methodist Conference follows:

Dear colleague,

You may well have seen shocking pictures of hunger in Africa recently on TV. The crisis in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia is the worst to hit the region for over 50 years. Millions of people's lives are at risk and there is a desperate need to respond quickly.

I am writing to you to appeal to your people to support the Methodist Relief and Development Fund's 'Southern African Appeal'. Please will you display the enclosed poster as prominently as possible, and discuss with your lay colleagues how best you might promote the appeal?

I have enclosed some further background information on the crisis. If you would like to have further copies of the poster, to know more or to find out how the appeal is going, please call Kevin Frayat MRDF (020 7467 5142) and he will be pleased to help you.

It is likely that the Disaster Emergency Committee will launch an appeal in the near future. This is in no sense in competition - all gifts from people of goodwill are welcome, through whatever channels. But I am taking this opportunity to appeal to the Methodist people to make their own particular contribution. Please encourage your people to do whatever they can.

Thank you for whatever you are able to do.

With every good wish,
Christina Le Moignan,
President of the Methodist Conference

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