By Roy Winter
The Nigeria Crisis Response budget for 2022 has been set at $183,000 after careful deliberation. Five years ago, we expected the Nigerian government would restore order in northeast Nigeria and families could return to their homes while the response supported their recovery. This led to planning to end the crisis response in 2021, but these plans had to be revised due to ongoing violence.
The reality of the situation is highlighted in a September update from Yuguda Mdurvwa, director of Disaster Relief Management for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), who shared, “We are grateful to God almighty for his grace and protection. For the first time in [years, for the last] two weeks we did not receive any attack on our communities in Southern Borno and Northern Adamawa [States], but the ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) and Boko Haram are still causing havoc.” While grateful for this small improvement in the security situation, I am incredibly sad to hear it has been years since they went two weeks without an attack on a community where there is a Church of the Brethren.
These ongoing attacks, other types of violence, and kidnappings continue to challenge the country, especially Christians in the northeast. The result is that 1.9 million people in Nigeria are still internally displaced, meaning they cannot return home. The COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse, with 10.6 million people in need of “urgent assistance,” a 34 percent increase according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
In the midst of this crisis and violence, EYN continues to grow, plant new churches, and partner with Brethren Disaster Ministries in providing crisis relief. The current relief program includes supporting farmers with seeds and fertilizer, food distributions in critical areas, repairing homes, medical care, and education scholarships for orphans.
In each part of this ministry, there are signs of hope and change. A guardian of an orphan in Watu said, “We never know there are spirited people who can assist orphans like this. We don’t know if there are people who can do more than what you are doing in the lives our children…. May God continue to guide you.”
The response program is saving lives and helping give children a better future. Please continue to pray for our Nigerian Brethren and support the Nigeria Crisis Fund.
Large disaster grant continues Nigeria Crisis Response through 2022
A grant of $210,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) will continue the Nigeria Crisis Response through 2022. Prior EDF grants for the Nigeria Crisis Response total $5,100,000, given from September 2014 through March 2020.
The Nigeria Crisis Response has provided funding to five response partners in Nigeria, with the majority of support going to EYN.
Among other work, the grant will help fund the work of EYN’s Disaster Relief Management (formerly the Disaster Relief Ministry team). Program priorities are recovery activities that will help families become more self-supporting. Focus areas for 2022 include repairing homes; peacebuilding and trauma recovery; agriculture; livelihood; education; food, medical, and home supplies; staff engagement; and covering the cost of special projects that may arise.
Find out more about the Nigeria Crisis Response and give to support this work at www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis.
— Roy Winter is executive director of Service Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.
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