Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grants go to Indonesia, American Samoa, Philippines, and Niger.

Church of the Brethren funds have given grants totaling $109,000 for disaster relief in Indonesia following the Sept. 30 earthquake, relief efforts following flooding in the Philippines, relief efforts and exploration of a Brethren rebuilding project following the massive tsunami in American Samoa, and a "Water for Life" program in Niger.

The Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) has given $69,000 to support work on the island of Sumatra following the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck Sept. 30. The grant supports efforts by the Church World Service (CWS) Emergency Response Program. Shortly after the quake, CWS began distributing tarpaulins and blankets to affected communities. In addition, water distribution is under way and work has begun on sanitation facilities.

The Brethren grant also supports the distribution of food aid to children under age five, tools for rehabilitation, reconstruction of houses, and psychosocial first-aid for affected populations--particularly women and children. As part of the long-term response, livelihood recovery assistance will be provided and training will help communities in disaster risk reduction.

An EDF allocation of $10,000 for American Samoa follows the massive tsunami wave that struck in late September. The funds will provide small grants to support local relief efforts and initial grants to start a long-term recovery process. The money also will support an assessment trip to explore creation of a Brethren Disaster Ministries reconstruction project on the island.

An EDF grant of $20,000 is helping CWS and Action by Churches Together (ACT) provide assistance in the Philippines following flooding from tropical storm Ketsana, which unleashed continuous heavy rains for almost eight hours on Sept. 26. The storm mainly hit the island of Luzon. Extensive flooding affected more than three million people and caused at least 293 deaths. The grant will assist in providing emergency food and household supplies for 98,000 of the most vulnerable flood survivors.

The Global Food Crisis Fund has allocated $10,000 for the "Water for Life" program in Niger. The money will be used by the NGO Nagarta to assist in the construction of 20 wells in the villages of Dan Kalm and Dan Chamoua. Two of the wells will be used to supply potable water for drinking, while the rest will be used for watering gardens and livestock. Villagers will be trained to manage and maintain the wells and existing water spots.

In related news, Brethren Disaster Ministries holds its second Haiti Hurricane Response Workcamp on Oct. 24-Nov. 1. Executive director Roy Winter will join 10 volunteers and field staff for the workcamp. The group will work and worship with Haitian Brethren and will rebuild homes in the coastal city of Gonaives. Disaster News Network recently featured a story about the Brethren project in Haiti, go to

For more information and to make online donations to the Emergency Disaster Fund go to For more information and to make online donations to the Global Food Crisis Fund go to

Source: 10/22/2009 Newsline

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