Bible Translators in Africa & Asia Risk Starvation Due to COVID-19 Food Shortages

Bible translators and their families in remote and poverty-stricken areas are facing starvation due to food shortages resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic.

ORLANDO, FL — Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that empowers mother-tongue Bible translators and partners with local churches in the advancement of Bible translation, reports that Bible translators and their families in remote and poverty-stricken areas are facing starvation due to food shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

President and CEO Bruce Smith says,

“My heart broke to read the report from a translator in Africa: ‘The situation is so bad that it leaves no room for exaggeration.’ ”

Bible translators representing more than 50 languages from Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—plus other countries that we can’t name for security reasons—are pleading for food.

Government-ordered lock-downs have prohibited them from farming their land, and in other places, lock-downs are creating severe food shortages. Where food is available, severely inflated prices have made it impossible for the translators to buy it.

And the unemployment rate in some areas is more than 50 percent.

“Some families are so desperately hungry, they have no choice but to eat their own planting seeds,” says Smith. “They’re risking their tomorrow just to stay alive today.”

In response, Wycliffe Associates is asking for donations to raise $400,000 for the organization’s Emergency 911 Fund to supply food for starving national Bible translators and their families.

“This crisis is so vast, our fund could be depleted in just days,” says Smith. “Our partners are on the ground. They can access food and deliver it—if they have the funding.”

Those wishing to help provide food for national Bible translators and their families can contribute through the Wycliffe Associates website at www,, by calling 1-800-THE WORD (843-9673), or by mailing contributions to the Wycliffe Associates Emergency 911 Fund, PO Box 620143, Orlando, FL 32862.

Wycliffe Associates is working in 108 countries to accelerate Bible translation and has MAST Bible translations in progress in close to 1,200 languages.

About Wycliffe Associates

One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.

Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with speeding Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers are currently accelerating Bible translations in 108 countries. For more information, please see

Read more news on Bible Translation and the Coronavirus Outbreak on Missions Box.

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