Some 220,000 Chechen refugees are seeking safety, following continued air strikes and artillery shelling by Russian military forces. Thousands remain in camps in neighboring Ingushetia, North Ossetia, and Stavropol. Chechen officials claim the attacks have killed more than 4,100 civilians.
Church World Service is seeking $125,000 to assist Action by Churches Together (ACT) in meeting emergency needs in the Chechnya region with blankets, food items, medical aid, sanitation supplies, shelter, and trauma counseling.
Hurricane Lenny hits the Caribbean
Relentless winds and rains from Hurricane Lenny have hit the Caribbean last week, killing at least nine people from Colombia to St. Maarten. Lenny, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, could dump as much as 15 inches of rain in some areas before it is finished, causing flash floods and landslides. CWS Disaster Response Consultants Joann Hale and Francisco Velazquez-Rodriguez are assessing the situation, and are in contact with the Puerto Rico Evangelical Council and other CWS Disaster Response Consultants throughout the Caribbean.
Relief efforts continue in Turkey
At least 710 people are dead and some 5,100 injured following the November 12 earthquake in Turkey. The quake, which rocked the northwestern province of Bolu, hit less than three months after the destructive August 17 earthquake, which killed more than 17,000 people. CWS is providing 92 bales of blankets, 14 cartons of Baby Kits, and 20 cartons of health supplies (total value $29,530), which is being distributed to survivors of both the November and August quakes. Since the August earthquake, CWS has been working with Action by Churches Together (ACT) and the Christian Churches in Turkey Steering Committee for Disaster Relief to help provide bedding, winterized tents fitted with heating stoves, tarps, food, sanitation facilities, and other supplies to families in affected areas. CWS has provided $100,000 in CWS Blanket Funds for these efforts.
Aiding survivors of the India cyclone
CWS has provided $70,000 in CWS Blanket Funds to our partner in India, the Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), to assist survivors of the devastating October 29 cyclone that affected some 20 million people. The death toll is more than 9,500, and continues to rise.
Flooding in Vietnam
Church World Service Vietnam representative Skip Dangers is assessing the situation in the wake of month-long flooding in central Vietnam, and is planning short- and long- term response efforts. More information will be shared as it is available.