(April 3, 2007) — The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) and the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) of the Church of the Brethren General Board have made four recent grants totaling $83,000–among them $50,000 to support agriculture in North Korea, which continues to experience periodic famine.
The GFCF allocation of $50,000 for the Sustainable Agriculture and Community Development Program in North Korea represents the fourth year that the Brethren have supported Agglobe International with this endeavor. The funds will help purchase seed, plastic sheeting, and fertilizer for four farms in the program. The program’s primary goals are to improve food and fiber productivity and to enhance the living environment and civil society. The alleviation of periodic famine in North Korea remains a compelling factor as well, according to the grant request.
“The Church of the Brethren’s reaching out to North Koreans goes beyond the matter of food security,” said GFCF manager Howard Royer. “It is a testament to risk-taking, bridge-building, and reconciliation in witness to the compassion and love of Jesus Christ for all peoples, and especially for the impoverished and estranged.”
In other recent grants, the EDF has given $24,000 in response to a Church World Service (CWS) appeal to provide critical aid to Indonesia, where flooding around the capital of Jakarta has left 60,000 people homeless and has affected another 280,000 people. The funds will help supply food and non-food material aid, health care, assistance with sanitation and fresh water, and support flood and disaster preparation education.
An allocation of $5,000 from the EDF responds to a CWS appeal following a series of severe storms and tornados that tore through Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and Arkansas at the beginning of March. The money will support the CWS Disaster Response and Recovery Liaisons, local longterm recovery groups, and the shipping of material resources.
EDF also gave $4,000 in response to a request from the United Farm Worker Foundation following a freeze that destroyed citrus crops in January and that has affected some 28,000 farm workers in California. The funds will help provide community outreach, employment opportunities, distribution of donations and food, as well as community education on freeze assistance programs.