'Please help stop these people starving to death' Archbishop aide pleads for Anglicans to act against famine

Somalia is facing drought and famine which is affecting the lives of millions.Stefani Glinski/World Vision

A senior adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury called on UK Christians to take part in this Sunday's Day of Prayer to End Famine as record numbers of people around the world face death by starvation.

Bishop Anthony Poggo, former Bishop of Kajo-Keji in South Sudan and now the Archbishop of Canterbury's Advisor for Anglican Communion Affairs, said more than than 20 million people across the globe face starvation.

World Vision UK is among the charities backing the global prayer day, in the hope of mobilising millions of Christians to help prevent mass starvation of children and their communities in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria.

World Vision is also working in Kenya and Ethiopia, where millions more are also facing the threat of famine.

Bishop Poggo said: 'This crisis has the potential to be absolutely catastrophic. 7.5 million people in my home country are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and their fate is shared by millions more across Africa and Yemen.

'Efforts of humanitarian agencies, governments and other organisations are clearly not enough. As Christians, we believe in the power of prayer and this is why we call on God to intervene and provide life-giving rains, and ensure everyone receives enough food and the healthcare support they need.

'Wherever you may be, please join us this Sunday to pray for the many who are at risk of famine.'

A mother cradles her starving child in Mogadishu, SomaliaReuters

The World Council of Churches tomorrow to be a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine in response to warnings that more than 20 million people face starvation in what the UN has declared the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945.

The call to action for Christians to pray and engage with churches, governments and society comes days before the G7 meets in Italy on 26-27 May. The G7 will discuss food security, crisis situations in sub-Saharan Africa and migration.

World Vision UK's Head of Christian Influence and Engagement, Chine McDonald, said: 'The hunger crisis is rapidly deteriorating and is unprecedented in scope and size for modern times. World Vision, along with other aid agencies, is already on the ground responding – but we need the continued generosity and prayers of supporters to make sure we reach those most in need, including the most vulnerable children.

'We pray that the hearts of international leaders would be stirred to act, and release life-saving aid to give millions of children the best possible chance of a bright future. Please join us.'