Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grant given for hunger relief in Sudan, mission executive visits.

A grant of $20,000 to help relieve hunger in the Easter Equatoria State of southern Sudan has been given by two Church of the Brethren ministry areas. A grant of $15,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund was requested by Brethren Disaster Ministries, and the church’s Global Mission Partnerships also gave $5,000.

The grant followed a trip to southern Sudan by Global Mission Partnerships executive Jay Wittmeyer, who visited the area in which hunger-related deaths are being reported. He also visited with the Africa Inland Church and its Community Organization for Rehabilitation and Development (AIC-CORED), which will administer the grant money.

AIC-CORED reports that during the month of December, hunger killed at least 14 people in LOPA County of the Eastern Equatoria State, and hunger-related cases have been reported in the city of Torit where the Church of the Brethren had been planning to base a mission effort. The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Torit has issued a hunger alert.

The grant request from AIC said, "Many children and elderly people are in the advanced stages of malnutrition; there is high need of life-saving assistance." The food shortage results from two years of failed rains or drought. A related issue are the people who are returning to southern Sudan after having been displaced from their own homes by the civil war, which took place over a period of 21 years.

"December is typically a good time for food, so if there is hunger in December, then hunger grows worse through the months of January through March and then into April," Wittmeyer said.

The AIC-CORED budget for the emergency food relief includes money to pay for food items such as sorghum and beans, non-food items like clothes, blankets, and cooking utensils, along with "rehabilitation tools" such as hoes and axes.

In another new grant from the Emergency Disaster Fund, $2,500 responds to a Church World Service appeal following severe winter storms across the United States. The money will help defray the cost of shipping hygiene kits and blankets to affected families, and will support the work of CWS as it aids recovery efforts in communities affected by the storms.

Source: 2/25/2010 Newsline

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