Prayers for Humanitarian Crises in Venezuela, Democratic Republic of the Congo—020 

Join me today in praying for crises occurring in Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Syria. My name is Fouad Abou-Rizk and I am a Catholic who is passionate about international crisis relief.

I pray that hunger and the lack of food will no longer be used as a weapon of control within Venezuela. I pray that the absolutist, extractive rule of President Nicolás Maduro will end soon.

I pray that international powers will not continue to be indifferent, but rather that they will step in to intervene and stop the President, his party, and the policies they make that are impoverishing the country, causing economic collapse, and destroying access to food and healthcare.

I pray that Maduro will be replaced and a fair ruler and party that cares more about the welfare of the people than remaining in power will gain control this year. I pray that all people, but especially children, who are suffering from malnutrition will receive the care they need to be nursed back to good health.

I pray that the 4.6 million children facing acute malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will receive the food and care they need to live and live healthy lives. I pray that the 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance will receive what they need to sustain their lives.

I pray that the almost 4 million internally displaced people will have adequate shelter and places to live, both temporarily and long term.

I pray that President Joseph Kabila who has been in power since 2001 and has constantly delayed new elections will be peacefully removed from power. I pray that this year be replaced by a fair ruler who cares more about the welfare of the people than remaining in power.

I pray that warring factions in the country will not continue to kill civilians, drive them from their homes, or perpetrate ethnic violence.

I pray that people in the DRC suffering from a cholera epidemic will receive the care they need to save their lives. I pray for more access to clean water and sanitation to prevent the spread of the disease.

I pray that the estimated 500,000+ refugees from the DRC in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania will be treated with mercy and compassion. I pray that wherever refugees from the DRC go, they will not be seen as pests, and that they will be met by people with resources to help them.

Notes and Explanations

President Nicolás Maduro has been in authority in Venezuala since 2013 and has overstayed his term in office. He is simply an autocratic ruler who has impoverished the country to make himself and his friends rich. In 2014, 24% of Venezuelans live in extreme poverty. In 2017, it rose to 60%. In 2014, about 52% of the population was above poverty level. In 2017 it was less than 15%.

Venezuela’s currency has inflated 10,000% causing millions of people to make the equivalent of $3 USD per month. Their economy has completely collapsed and there is not sufficient access to healthcare or food to provide for the people. Citizens have on average lost 19 pounds. The government has been providing food to people in exchange for votes. Read more about it here.


President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been in power since 2001 and cancelled presidential elections that were supposed to take place in 2017, saying that they would not be fair and accurate and that elections could not be held until April 2019.

Millions of people in the DRC are at risk of starvation, and almost 5 million people have been displaced due to violence. Read more about their needs below.

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