Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Grants to agriculture in North Korea represent new partnerships.

Grants totaling $60,000 for flood response and rural development in North Korea have been approved by two funds of the Church of the Brethren General Board, the Global Food Crisis Fund and the Emergency Disaster Fund. The action was prompted by setbacks suffered by North Korean agriculture following torrential rains in late summer.

Giving impetus to the response was a $20,000 gift to the Global Food Crisis Fund from Grace Christian Church, a Church of the Brethren congregation in Hatfield, Pa., and the Korean Presbyterian Church in America. Focused on flood recovery, the effort was initiated by Young Son Min, pastor of Grace Christian Church.

The grants are "a step in the Church of the Brethren's effort to witness to the compassion and love of Jesus for all peoples, especially to the impoverished and the estranged," said Global Food Crisis Fund manager Howard Royer. "This gift is a song of partnership, with Agglobe, across agencies, between the Church of the Brethren and the Korean Presbyterian Church in America, among haves and have-nots. Praise God!"

Four farm communities in North Korea that have received assistance from the Global Food Crisis Fund for a decade were devastated by flooding in August. Drastic damage occurred to crops of cotton, rice, corn, and vegetables. Some of the communities also suffered the loss of roads, bridges, and construction materials. The grants will be used not only for emergency food and flood recovery but also for sustainable agricultural development, namely the purchase of vinyl greenhouses that will extend the growing season into the winter months.

Agglobe, a long-time partner of the Global Food Crisis Fund, will facilitate the programs of recovery and development, enlisting further support from development and assistance agencies in South Korea.

Source: 10/24/2007 Newsline

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