Grants Are Given to Start New Brethren Disaster Project Sites

Two grants have been given from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to start new Brethren Disaster Ministries project sites in New York State and Alabama. Other recent EDF grants also have been announced in response to Church World Service (CWS)  appeals for Pakistan and northern Africa.

In related news, the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) also has announced a grant to a Rural Development Program in Nigeria.

An allocation of $30,000 from the EDF will aid recovery efforts in Prattsville, N.Y., following flash flooding caused by Hurricane Irene in Aug. 2011. On July 1, Brethren Disaster Ministries will open a repair and rebuilding project in Prattsville, in one of the lowest income regions of New York State. Many residents of the nearly 300 flooded homes were uninsured or elderly. This grant will provide the opportunity for volunteers to assist in repairing and rebuilding homes for qualified individuals and families. Funds will underwrite expenses related to volunteer support including housing, food, travel expenses incurred onsite, training, tools, and equipment.

An EDF grant of $30,000 for tornado recovery work in Town Creek, Ala., follows the April 2011 “Super Outbreak” of tornadoes that claimed 346 lives in 21 states. Brethren Disaster Ministries has been present in Alabama since Nov. 2011, and will move its operations from the town of Arab to Town Creek on July 1. Working closely with a long-term recovery group in the area, the ministry will continue to repair and rebuild homes for qualifying families still in need of permanent housing. The grant will be used for expenses related to volunteer support including housing, food, travel expenses incurred onsite, training, tools, and equipment.

In other recent grants, the EDF has given $27,000 to a Church World Service (CWS) appeal for the Sahel region of northern Africa. The appeal follows unusually low rainfall, low crop production, food insecurity, and political strife and violence, which have resulted in a complex humanitarian crisis affecting more that 15 million people. The initial EDF grant toward this appeal–$8,000 given in May–was based on the relatively small size of the initial CWS appeal. Since then, CWS has indicated a much greater need. The grant supports the work of CWS and partner agency Christian Aid in providing food, seeds, and other emergency assistance to more than 83,000 people in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.

An EDF grant of $20,000 responds to a CWS appeal follows increasing military operations against militants in tribal regions and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in northern Pakistan. The situation has resulted in the evacuation of residents to safer regions. A needs assessment by CWS indicates poor living conditions, low food intake, and vulnerability to a number of communicable and non-communicable diseases.  In addition, displaced people in the host communities of Peshawar and Nowshehra do not have easy access to emergency and primary health care. Without assistance, the humanitarian crisis could spread to a larger region. The grant supports the provision of emergency food assistance, household supplies, and medical care for families who have been repeatedly displaced over the last several years.

The GFCF has given a grant of $10,000 (or 1.5 million Nigerian Naira) to support the Rural Development Program of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The head of the program requested the grant to help purchase improved seed.

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