Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $50,000 in grants to refugee and migrant crisis




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Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed $50,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support ecumenical partners who are serving people affected by the refugee and migrant crisis. Other recent EDF grants include the allocation of $30,000 to continue the Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in Spotswood, N.J.

Church World Service--Europe refugee crisis

An allocation of $20,000 from the EDF is supporting Church World Service (CWSS) humanitarian assistance for refugees migrating to Europe.

The Brethren Disaster Ministries grant request noted that the number of forcibly displaced people in the world is at a record level of over 59,500,000, half of these being children. “As these groups flee violence, war or persecution, host countries are burdened with the care of this massive displaced population,” said the document.

The appeal from CWS for funding “focuses on a rapidly rising group of refugees (nearly 300,000 by Aug. 2015) coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, and Somalia, migrating toward Europe in search of aid, security, and safety,” the grant request said. “Support of this appeal will assist Church World Service in providing direct aid to refugees traveling through Serbia and Hungary.”

The allocation will fund provisions of food and water, blankets, supplies, and temporary shelter for around 5,600 refugees.

ACT Alliance--Europe refugee crisis

An EDF allocation of $30,000 responds to an appeal from the ACT Alliance to provide funds for humanitarian assistance for refugees migrating to Europe.

“Support of this appeal provides aid for refugees in Hungary and Greece by supporting the work of partners International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA),” said the grant request. The total response of these organizations targets 97,800 refugees in Greece and 16,164 refugees in Hungary.

The allocation funds relief supplies including food, water, and other supplies, along with the provision of sanitation, shelter, and psychosocial support for children. While the ACT appeal also includes programing in Serbia, the Church of the Brethren funding is being earmarked for Greece and Hungary.

Spotswood rebuilding project

An additional EDF grant of $30,000 has been allocated for Brethren Disaster Ministries to continue work at a rebuilding project site in Spotswood, N.J. Previous EDF grants for this appeal total $30,000.

Since Jan. 2014, Brethren volunteers have been working on home repair and rebuilding in various areas of Monmouth County, N.J., through a partnership with Monmouth County Long Term Recovery Group (MCLTRG), Habitat for Humanity, and two other partners.

The MCLTRG now assigns more than half of their approved recovery cases to Brethren Disaster Ministries, and have confirmed that there will be more help needed at least through the end of the year 2015, said the grant request.

The grant will underwrite operational expenses related to volunteer support including housing, food, travel expenses incurred onsite, volunteer training, tools, and equipment needed for rebuilding and repair. It also covers a one-time expense of moving the volunteer housing for the project to a new location. 

Contribute to this work through donations to the Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/edf . Learn more about the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries at www.brethren.org/bdm .

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