Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brethren Disaster Ministries begins planning to support CWS relief efforts in Japan.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has begun planning to support Church World Service (CWS) and its partners in relief efforts in Japan. The powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan overnight Friday also may have affected areas in the Pacific Rim where CWS has programs, and the organization is monitoring effects of the tsunami in Hawaii and other Western state coastal areas in the United States.

In Japan, Church World Service is prepared to support efforts of partners there, including the National Christian Council of Japan and the United Church of Christ of Japan, both of which are planning relief efforts. CWS is considering other partnerships in Japan as well, and may be involved in the issue of disaster risk reduction.

Roy Winter, executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, also said that the program will be planning to support the Voluntary Organizations of Japan providing disaster assistance. This group received training and guidance from the US based National VOAD organizations, including Brethren Disaster Ministries.

"Japan is obviously a country of substantive resources and a construction industry that is renowned and the country has been on the cutting edge of building earthquake-resistant housing," said Donna Derr, director of CWS’s development and humanitarian programs. "As such, this bodes well for them being able to manage a pretty effective recovery over time themselves. However, with devastation of this magnitude, we stand ready to assist as a determination is made of where international assistance can be most helpful."

Brethren may support this relief effort through gifts to the Emergency Disaster Fund. Give online at or send donations to Emergency Disaster Fund, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

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