Three new grants support disaster recovery, farming efforts

Three new grants from Church of the Brethren funds will aid projects in Honduras, Indonesia, and Haiti, responding to disasters and assisting training for farmers.

Two of the grants come from the denomination’s Emergency Disaster Fund. The most recent provides $18,000 in emergency relief for Honduras, which suffered severe flash flooding in its southern region last month. The Honduras emergency response agency reported that 25,558 people were affected, with nine dying in the floods. The funds will support long-time partner PAG, which is working with churches in Honduras to help provide emergency food, drinking water, and household supplies to the most vulnerable families.

Prior to the storm, a shipping container of supplies was assembled to preposition emergency relief, medical, and agriculture supplies for PAG, including canned chicken provided by the Mid-Atlantic and Southern Pennsylvania districts’ meat canning committee, hygiene kits from Church World Services, medical supplies gathered by PAG, and some farming equipment. The container left the Port of Baltimore on Oct. 21 and will provide critical supplies for the response.

A grant of $40,000 will aid the Church World Service (CWS) response to the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Sept. 28. The 7.5-magnitude quake and the resulting 10-foot tsunami waves brought destruction to the city of Palu (pop. 335,000) and surrounding areas. The death toll is at least 2,096, with hundreds still missing and thousands injured. Around 79,000 people have been displaced, and some 330,000 people are left without adequate shelter.

The CWS emergency response team is working in Palu, providing clean water daily to 2,500 people and working to expand the water supply to reach more people. CWS also sent relief items including tarps, rope, sleeping mats, blankets, hygiene supplies for women and babies, and hygiene kits for families. They are working to implement a short-term response program designed to support disaster-affected families in Sigi district, Central Sulawesi, by improving access to water supplies and sanitation facilities, building temporary and transitional shelter, and rebuilding livelihoods through early recovery interventions.

The CWS response is part of a larger ACT Alliance program. CWS is partnering with members of the ACT Alliance Indonesia Forum and the Humanitarian Forum Indonesia.

Farmers viewing a field in the Dominican Republic
Farm visit in the Dominican Republic, part of a farmer-to-farmer exchange between agronomists/farmers from Haiti and the DR. Photo by Jason Hoover.

And a grant of $1,659 from the Global Food Initiative covered costs of an Oct. 21-25 farmer-to-farmer exchange between agronomists/farmers from Haiti who traveled to the Dominican Republic to meet with counterparts. Three agronomists from Eglise des Freres (Church of the Brethren in Haiti)/Haiti Medical Project traveled to the DR, along Eglise des Freres general secretary Romy Telfort. In the DR they traveled with the president of the board of Iglesia de Los Hermanos (Church of the Brethren in the DR), Gustavo Bueno, along with Global Mission worker Jason Hoover and two Dominican farmers. A reverse visit hopefully will be scheduled at a later date to install a drip irrigation system in Haiti.

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