END TIMES FAMINES AND PESTILENCES

MILLIONS OF CHILDREN FORCED INTO LABOUR AS COVID 19 CREATES GLOBAL HUNGER CRISIS

There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences.” Luke 21:11

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused at least 110 million children to go hungry and pushed 8 million others into child labour and begging, according to assessments in 24 countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia by evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization World Vision. Other international groups like the United Nations and World Food Programme have warned that the economic impact of the new coronavirus is bound to increase child hunger, violence and poverty at alarming levels, and those predictions were confirmed by World Vision’s assessments.  “COVID-19 is already affecting parents and caregivers’ ability to meet the needs of their children,” says the World Vision report, titled “Out of Time: COVID-19 Aftershocks.”

Millions in India facing hunger due to Covid19

“Without urgent action, this will only get worse given that every second child, out of 2 billion children in the world, is living in poverty,” it adds. The report shows that a third of the 14,000 households in nine countries in Asia have already lost jobs or income since the coronavirus outbreak. “Sixty percent of these families depend on casual (daily) labour as a crucial source of income,” it says, adding that a quarter of all families surveyed did not have any food stocks on hand, and one third had only one week’s supply left. In Cambodia, 28% of households facing loss of jobs and income were sending children out to work, and in Bangladesh, 34% were sending children to beg, the assessment found.  In urban slums in India, 40% of respondents reported a spike in domestic violence due to travel restrictions and a reduction in family income.

In Africa, 59% of respondents from communities World Visions works with reported spending less on healthy and nutritious food. In Latin America, refugees are severely affected by the loss of income, and one-third of children are going to bed hungry, the report says. “In Chile, 82% of the interviewees reported having serious problems obtaining food, and in Venezuela, 70% have no access to food, which means that children under age five are at high risk of being malnourished. The report also shows 28% of the children surveyed are at risk of eviction from their homes, with seven percent already having been evicted.” According to a projection by the United Nations, up to 66 million more children could fall into extreme poverty because of the pandemic, adding to the estimated 385 million children who were already living in extreme poverty as of last year.

COVID-19 CREATES GLOBAL HUNGER CRISIS

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused at least 110 million children to go hungry and pushed 8 million others into child labor and begging, according to assessments in 24 countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia by evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization World Vision.

Other international groups like the United Nations and World Food Programme have warned that the economic impact of the new coronavirus is bound to increase child hunger, violence and poverty at alarming levels, and those predictions were confirmed by World Vision’s assessments.

“COVID-19 is already affecting parents and caregivers’ ability to meet the needs of their children,” says the World Vision report, titled “Out of Time: COVID-19 Aftershocks.”

Child Hunger in Africa

“Without urgent action, this will only get worse given that every second child, out of 2 billion children in the world, is living in poverty,” it adds.

The report shows that a third of the 14,000 households in nine countries in Asia have already lost jobs or income since the coronavirus outbreak. “Sixty percent of these families depend on casual (daily) labor as a crucial source of income,” it says, adding that a quarter of all families surveyed did not have any food stocks on hand, and one third had only one week’s supply left.

In Cambodia, 28% of households facing loss of jobs and income were sending children out to work, and in Bangladesh, 34% were sending children to beg, the assessment found.

In urban slums in India, 40% of respondents reported a spike in domestic violence due to travel restrictions and a reduction in family income.

In Africa, 59% of respondents from communities World Visions works with reported spending less on healthy and nutritious food.

In Latin America, refugees are severely affected by the loss of income and one-third of children are going to bed hungry, the report says.

“In Chile, 82 percent of the interviewees report having serious problems obtaining food, and in Venezuela, 70 percent have no access to food, which means that children under age five are at high risk of being malnourished. The report also shows 28 percent of the children surveyed are at risk of eviction from their homes, with seven percent already having been evicted.”

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
Matthew 24:7-13

FAMINE AND PESTILENCES IN THE LAST DAYS

Conflict, famine and the worst humanitarian crisis in the world have led the United Nations to call for a global response as Yemen nears collapse.  “Four people out of every five, 24 million people in all, need lifesaving aid in what remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis,” reported UN Secretary-General António Guterres.  “Two million Yemeni children are suffering from acute malnutrition, which could stunt their growth and affect them throughout their lives.”  Aside from the humanitarian crisis, Yemen is currently facing the largest outbreak of cholera in the world and one of the most substantial mortality rates of COVID-19.

Pray essential resources and aid will fall into the hands of those who need it.  With most Yemeni children remembering nothing but war, pray they will seek and find the King of Peace.

Many Christians are being denied lifesaving resources as emergency relief is often distributed through Islamic organisations and local mosques.  But as the Word reassures, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” – John 14:13-14. 

In this time of desperate need, please pray for the country of Yemen and Yemeni believers facing incredible hardships.  Pray for Yemen:

PLAGUES OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS

David Beasley is the executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, and he recently stated that we are heading directly into “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two.” Hunger is rapidly rising all over the globe, and he believes that if dramatic intervention does not happen quickly we could see an astounding death toll.

According to Beasley, we could soon see 300,000 people around the world starve to death every single day, and that figure doesn’t even factor in the effect of this coronavirus pandemic:

“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period,” he upheld. “This does not include the increase of starvation due to COVID-19.

Even before COVID-19 became the biggest public health crisis to hit the globe in decades, enormous swarms of locusts the size of major cities were devouring crops throughout eastern Africa, across the Middle East and even in some parts of Asia. Now a new generation that officials are describing as “20 times bigger” has emerged, and the devastation that this new generation of locusts is causing is extremely alarming. These colossal locust swarms can travel up to 90 miles a day, and as you will see below, when they descend upon a field they can literally eat everything there in as little as 30 seconds. This new generation of locusts has been spotted as far south as Congo, as far north as Iran and as far east as India. In other words, the food supplies of billions of people are at risk.

In addition, another plague of “biblical proportions” has been killing off pigs in unprecedented numbers.

It is hard to believe that African Swine Fever has already killed off half the pigs in China and one-fourth of all the pigs in the entire world but this quote comes directly from New Scientist:

“A quarter of the world’s domestic pigs have died this year as a virus rampages across Eurasia, and that may be just the start. Half the pigs in China – which last year numbered 440 million, some 50 percent of the world’s pigs – have either died of African swine fever (ASF) or been killed to stamp out the virus.

ASF comes from East Africa. In 2007, it reached Georgia in the Caucasus in contaminated meat, and in infected wild boar. Now, it is all over Russia and eastern Europe and infected wild boar have turned up as far west as Belgium. It is also spreading in east Asia, killing many pigs in Vietnam and elsewhere.”

Never before have we seen so many catastrophic threats to the global food supply emerge at the same time. It appears that “the perfect storm” is now upon us, and I anticipate that global events will continue to accelerate in the months ahead.

Even in the West, in countries where famine is inconceivable, we are seeing reports that are of concern: Farmers all over America are seeing their hard work go to waste because broken supply chains have made it impossible to sell what they have produced. One industry expert is actually claiming that “billions” of dollars worth of crops have gone to waste as a result of this crisis:

Crops planted months before based on pre-pandemic demand spoiled without buyers. Billions of dollars’ worth of produce went to waste, much of it tilled back into the soil, said Cathy Burns, CEO of the Produce Marketing Assn., which represents produce companies. She said, I have a feeling that eventually we will greatly regret allowing so much good food to go to waste.

Australia, which made a rare purchase of Canadian wheat in the current marketing year, is expected to continue buying more wheat in the 2019-20 marketing year (October-September), as weather conditions remain difficult in key states, market analysts say.

 The once pristine Kangaroo Island is barren following fires at the weekend
Before and after fire devastation in Australia

Australia’s wheat output dropped 45.6% to 17.3 million mt in the 2018-19 marketing year from a record high of 31.8 million mt in 2016-17, owing to prolonged drought conditions, data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics shows. This forced the country to import wheat for the first time in 12 years.

We still have quite a way to go before we get to the type of famines described in the Scriptures, but it certainly looks like the stage is being set for severe hunger on a global scale.

But Jesus didn’t warn us about these things so that we would live in fear. God knew about all of this in advance, He is in control and He has a plan.

Unfortunately, most of the world doesn’t want anything to do with the God of the Bible or His plan, and so they will be facing what is to come all by themselves. What about you and your church group?

God wants to involve you in getting the good news of the Gospel to your immediate family, friends and certainly your workplace, maybe even beyond. Are you spending time in the Word and prayer. Scripture clearly tells us, He is at the door knocking, will you let Him in and allow Him to reveal what it is He would like to involve you in, to achieve His plan?

MILLIONS AT RISK AS FAMINE GRIPS THREE AFRICAN NATIONS

Revelation 6:5 -6
“When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

It almost appears that we can hear the galloping of the black horse of the book of Revelation as we learn of new reports that over 16 million people are at risk of dying of famine in three African Nations.  “We are living a horrible drought and a difficult time,” said Shukurow, a Somali mother of a malnourished child. “We hardly have enough to get by, let alone to think of our future.”

The UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien, says the world is facing “the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations” and says the organisation needs urgent resources to avert the famine crisis.

Across the Horn of Africa, people are starving. A catastrophic combination of conflict, high food prices and drought has left more than 11 million people in desperate need. The United Nations has been sounding the alert for months. We have resisted using the “f-word” — famine — but on Wednesday we officially recognised the fast-evolving reality. There is famine in parts of Somalia. And it is spreading.

This is a wake-up call we cannot ignore. Everyday, I hear the most harrowing reports from our UN teams on the ground. Somali refugees, their cattle and goats dead from thirst, walking for weeks to find help in Kenya and Ethiopia. Orphans who arrive alone, their parents dead, terrified and malnourished, in a foreign land.

We must also recognise that Kenya and Ethiopia, which have generously kept their borders open, face enormous challenges of their own. The largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab, is already dangerously over-crowded with some 380,000 refugees. Many thousands more are waiting to be registered. In neighbouring Ethiopia, 2,000 people a day are arriving at the Dolo refugee camp – also struggling to keep pace. This compounds a food crisis faced by almost 7 million Kenyans and Ethiopians at home. In Djibouti and Eritrea, tens of thousands of people are also in need — and potentially many more.

Imagine the catastrophe ahead for theses nations. Many, already with deficient immune systems, without access to adequate health services (ventilators – unlikely) will die due to the Corona virus.

southsudanafricanchildhungeras

 

END TIMES PESTILENCES AND FAMINE

Four plagues are marching across Asia simultaneously: Coronavirus, African Swine Fever, H5N1 Bird Flu And H1N1 Swine Flu and as well the locust plague sweeping Africa and the Middle East is not abating.  Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in 70 years. Now the second wave of the voracious insects, some 20 times the size of the first, is arriving.

Reports coming out of South Carolina are indicating that an infectious and fatal strain of bird flu has been confirmed in a commercial turkey flock. The report from News Channel 9 is stating that this is the first case of this serious of a strain of the in the United States since 2017 and a worrisome development for an industry that was devastated by previous outbreaks.

Deadly bird flu found in South Carolina commercial turkey flock

As well as the Coronavirus which has been getting all the news coverage, three other plagues have also been marching across Asia, and most people in the western world don’t even realise that this is happening. Long before we ever heard of this new coronavirus, African Swine Fever was devastating pork farms from one end of China to the other. There is no vaccine for “pig ebola”, there is no cure, and once it hits a farm the only thing that can be done is to kill every single pig so that it won’t spread anywhere else. But even though draconian measures have been implemented, it has just kept spreading, and at this point “about two-thirds of China’s swine herd has been lost.”

Brett Stuart, president of the market research and analysis firm Global AgriTrends, estimates that about two-thirds of China’s swine herd has been lost to the disease and contrary to official government reports of recovery, more pigs are dying every day as ASF continues to spread.

Prior to this crisis, approximately half of all the pigs in the entire world lived in China, and they would usually slaughter about 700 million a year. But now pork production has absolutely plummeted, and this is driving pork prices in China through the roof.

Unfortunately, this insidious disease has also been devastating farms in many other nations all over the planet. In particular, Cambodia, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines have been hit particularly hard.

It has been estimated that one out of every four pigs in the entire world has already died and this crisis is far from over.

Meanwhile, there has been a very alarming resurgence of the H5N1 bird flu in China. According to the Daily Mail, more than 17,000 chickens have been culled in an effort to keep this new outbreak from spreading further…

China has reportedly seen an outbreak of a ‘highly pathogenic’ strain of H5N1 bird flu which has already killed 4,500 chickens. The outbreak was initially reported at a farm in Shaoyang city in the southern province of Hunan, south of the epicentre of the Coronavirus in Wuhan. According to the Reuters report, Chinese authorities have already culled 17,828 poultry in the wake of the outbreak.

Unlike African Swine Fever, humans can become infected by the H5N1 bird flu and according to the World Health Organisation, the mortality rate for human cases is approximately 60 percent.

Alarmingly, the H5N1 bird flu has also popped up at a facility in India

Authorities in an eastern Indian state will start culling chickens and destroying eggs from Tuesday to contain a bird flu virus of the H5N1 strain, a government statement said on Monday. The samples collected from a poultry breeding and research farm of a veterinary college in Odisha state tested positive, the statement said.

We haven’t heard much about the H5N1 bird flu in recent years, but this is an extremely deadly disease, and so we will want to monitor these developments very carefully.

On top of everything else, the H1N1 swine flu is starting to spread once again. In fact, more than 100,000 people in Taiwan “sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals across the country over the past week” and there have been 13 confirmed deaths

At a time when the world is panicking over the coronavirus outbreak, the H1N1 flu virus is actually posing a greater threat in Taiwan, claiming 13 lives in the country in just one week, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

At a weekly meeting Friday, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said 116,705 people sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals across the country over he past week, including 61 more confirmed flu cases.

Never before have we seen so many alarming outbreaks occur simultaneously. Could it be possible that we have entered a period of time when mass pandemics are going to become “the new normal”?

CITY-SIZED SWARMS OF LOCUSTS THREATEN FAMINE IN EAST AFRICA

A historic desert locust infestation in East Africa could cause the next major famine as people in the region are already struggling with hunger after droughts were followed by cyclone flooding, one of the world’s leading evangelical charities has warned. 

God tells us that He commands the locusts to devour the land and why. He also tells us what we need to do resolve the problem.

When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

When the disciples asked Jesus, “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus answer included; “And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”

A growing spread of city-sized swarms of locusts has reached seven East African countries in recent months. The invasion has been described as something similar to an account from the book of Exodus as the grasshoppers have torn through crops, grass and other green vegetation. 

Desert locusts infest crops in the Habru District of Ethiopia on Feb. 4, 2020. | World Vision

Experts say the crisis might be the result of exceptionally wet weather from rare cyclones that hit the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa in December. The crisis is expected to grow as locusts are breeding and migrating. Additionally, drier weather could lead to an exponential increase in the number of locusts in the region. 

The U.N. has warned that the outbreak has already damaged tens of thousands of hectares of cropland across the Greater Horn of Africa, signifying the worst locust outbreak in Kenya in over 70 years and the worst outbreaks in Ethiopia and Somalia in 25 years. 

According to the U.N., one swarm can eat as much in vegetation as 35,000 humans. 

The biggest worry, Joseph Kamara, World Vision’s regional director for humanitarian and emergency affairs in East Africa, said, is if the crisis is not controlled by the time cropping season rolls around. He stressed that the region is already facing food deficits after many crops were destroyed by flooding last year. 

“So if we haven’t controlled them, then the region is facing famine, not just a food crisis, but a potential famine,” he stressed.