Emergency Disaster Fund Gives $89,300 in Grants

Church of the Brethren Newsline
October 3, 2007

The Emergency Disaster Fund of the Church of the Brethren General Board has given a total of $89,300 in nine grants to support worldwide disaster relief activities, including work following flooding in Pakistan, India, China, and the midwest United States, health services in Sudan, humanitarian aid in Gaza and the West Bank, and other responses.

An allocation of $40,000 responded to a Church World Service (CWS) appeal following intense flooding throughout Asia and specifically Pakistan. The funds will support a relief effort that includes construction materials, medical assistance, hygiene kits, safe water, sanitation facilities, psychosocial support, and disaster response training for community leaders.

A grant of $10,000 responded to an appeal from IMA World Health (formerly Interchurch Medical Assistance). The organization, which includes the Church of the Brethren as one of its member denominations, has agreed to develop basic health services in parts of southern Sudan. The funds will help provide preliminary preparations while the organization waits for an award for funding through the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

Another $10,000 grant has gone to CWS following flooding throughout northern India. The funds will support the work of a local partner, Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action, in providing food, clothing, household supplies, and water purification tablets, as well as assistance with home repair and construction.

A $7,000 allocation supported a CWS appeal for humanitarian aid to Gaza and West Bank. The funds will provide cash grants, supplementary food support, and health services to the most vulnerable families in the area.

An allocation of $7,000 supported CWS work following widespread flooding in eight midwestern states in the US. The funds will help CWS provide training and assistance with longterm recovery organizations.

A grant of $7,000 aided a CWS response to flooding in 15 provinces in China. The funds will support the work of local partner Amity Foundation in providing rice, quilts, sheets, and mosquito nets to 4,000 families. If possible, an additional 1,000 families will receive assistance with repairs to homes, schools, health facilities, and water systems.

The sum of $ 3,800 continued support of the work being doing in the community of Union Victoria in Guatemala, through the Church of the Brethren General Board. Previous work in the area included providing emergency food and bridge repair. The current grant supports longterm recovery needs including the construction of a tree nursery, soil conservation, seedlings, and supplies, as well as a hydro-electric turbine. Previous grants over the last two years have totaled $23,200.

A grant of $2,500 responded to a CWS appeal following torrential rains and flooding in the North Kordofan region of Sudan. The funds will help provide emergency supplies and sanitation, as well as assist in the rebuilding of schools.

An allocation of $2,000 aided a CWS appeal for the Mount Elgon region of Kenya, where disputes between opposing clans have resulted in violent clashes, with homes burned and food destroyed. The funds will help provide relief supplies and will support efforts to lobby the government and other agencies to enforce a land settlement agreement.

In other disaster relief news from the Church of the Brethren, the Material Resources program located at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., has been very busy making shipments through the months of August and September. Shipments have included a container of 13 pallets of canned meat, 12 pallets of water jugs, 60 cartons of “Kids Kits,” and 55 cartons of blankets, totaling 40,390 pounds, to the Dominican Republic on behalf of CWS and the Church of the Brethren. Forty-foot containers are on the way to Ghana and Pakistan for CWS. Hygiene kits have been shipped to Johnson City, Texas, for flood survivors. Lutheran World Relief has been releasing multiple shipments including five 40-foot containers to Tanzania, seven containers to Afghanistan, four containers to Ukraine, one container for Azerbaijan, two containers for Georgia, one container for Tajikistan, seven containers for Uganda, and ten containers for Thailand. A 40-foot container of IMA World Health medicines and hospital supplies for Armenia was loaded as well.

The program reports that the process of removing toothpaste from health kits continues. Volunteers from Union Bridge (Md.) Church of the Brethren have been assisting with the toothpaste removal one day each week, but as of late September Material Resources still had some 2,000 cartons of approximately 50 kits to work through.

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The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Jon Kobel contributed to this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to http://listserver.emountain.net/mailman/listinfo/newsline. Submit news to the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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