CWS Hotline - 14 Jul 2008: Myanmar, Timo-Leste, Zimbabwe, USA
"We really appreciate the statements we have read from some of you, the prayers, vigils and conferences that you have held all in an effort to ensure better lives for the people of Zimbabwe," writes Church World Service partner Christian Care about CWS and others in the Action by Churches Together coalition.
Politically motivated violence in the wake of a contested presidential election and run-off continues in Zimbabwe. There are ongoing problems with food shortages, as corn meal, a food staple, is now available only on the informal market. Zimbabwe suffers from an 80-percent unemployment rate and an annual inflation rate of between 1 million to 10 million percent.
CWS is supporting Christian Care's response to the humanitarian crisis, which includes providing assistance for those who have been displaced by the political violence.
CWS has continued to aid the work of Christian Care through support of food assistance programs in the last year and by providing shipments of material resources for distribution to families and individuals in need.
Among them are some 350 internally displaced persons who had camped at the South African High Commission office and were moved to the Ruwa Rehabilitation Center, east of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. Christian Care, who had been providing them with psychosocial support , has now also taken over responsibility for providing and preparing food for these IDPs.
The longest-lasting effect of Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar on May 3, will be seen in farmers' ability to recover and produce food. The Irrawaddy Delta is the rice-producing heart of Myanmar, and most rice farms have been destroyed.
Church World Service is helping partners in Myanmar to assist more than 116,000 vulnerable farmers with seed stock and fertilizer, power tillers and fuel. One power tiller can speed up the planting process for some 20 families. Also, land-owning farm families are being provided cash so they can provide employment to families out of work since the storm.
Contributions are urgently needed to assist families in the Irrawaddy Delta struggling to recover from the cyclone's devastation.
Drought is causing a food crisis in Indonesia's West Timor for more than 91 percent of households, according to a report by Church World Service. A July 7 story on the Cable News Network highlighted CWS's work assessing the hunger and malnutrition situation there.
CWS is urging support for income generating activities, food- or cash-for-work initiatives, and the provision of safe drinking water. CWS is also collaborating with the H.J. Heinz Company Foundation of Pittsburgh, PA, to provide micronutrient supplements. CWS continues to support agriculture programs, education and training, small scale irrigation, and better drainage to improve food production in West Timor.
Church World Service is providing more than 600 Emergency Clean-up Buckets, the majority of which were made by members of the United Church of Christ, to Adventist Community Services, Ankeny, Iowa, for distribution to families recovering from severe flooding in the central U.S.
Additional kits are needed for flood recovery and other needs. You and your congregation can help with your donations and by making CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets. Before July 31, buckets can be transported or shipped to either our Elkhart, IN, office, the Brethren Service Center, New Windsor, MD, or Ferncliff Center, Little Rock, AR. After July 31, they can be shipped to the Brethren Service Center or the Ferncliff Center.