CWS Hotline - 04 Aug 2008: Indonesia, Iraq, Ethiopia, USA

from Church World Service
Published on 04 Aug 2008 View Original


Since a devastating earthquake struck Indonesia's Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces in May 2006, Church World Service and two long-time local partners have been providing relief and rehabilitation assistance to people in affected villages.

The assistance has saved lives and enabled many people to advance on the road to full recovery. Now Church World Service is providing needed complementary assistance focused on sustainable livelihood recovery and strengthening long-term community preparedness.

Some 5,465 people, including 350 school children, are participating in CWS-supported disaster preparedness and risk reduction training through school and community safety approaches. Seven school buildings are being retrofitted and reinforced for safety, and disaster preparedness kits are being provided for schools.

Also, members of 53 community-based organizations are taking part in livelihood activities and capacity building for small-scale businesses. The project includes expansion of economic projects, vocational training, business development workshops, and market networking.

Some 350 families are taking part in water, sanitation, and hygiene projects. This includes construction or rehabilitation of latrines, construction of wells, and provision of family sanitation maintenance kits--containing a bucket, soap, dustbin, floor brush, and disinfectants. An additional 1,050 families are receiving hygiene awareness materials.

CWS is also providing disaster reduction trainings for disabled people from 60 households. In addition, they and the community will gain information about developing livelihoods for disabled people.


Millions of Iraqis remain displaced--either as refugees in other countries or internally displaced--due to conflict in Iraq. Continuing our long-term response, Church World Service is supporting the efforts of partners who are providing humanitarian relief to war-affected Iraqis.

In Baghdad, 4,500 low-income families will receive food parcels containing pasta, tomato paste, beans, tuna, canned chicken, cooking oil, salt, tea, cheese, jam, and milk powder, as well as hygiene items including soap, washing powder, disinfectant, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dish washing liquid, and toilet paper, through CWS partner International Orthodox Christian Charities.

In Damascus and Aleppo, Syria, some 1,500 displaced Iraqi families will receive hygiene items including bar soap, bath sponge, shampoo, toilet paper, antiseptic, toilet brush, liquid soap, powdered soap, and sink sponge, through long-time CWS partner the Middle East Council of Churches. In addition, the fees of 500 young people will be covered for vocational training in English, hair styling, mechanics, sewing and knitting. Support is also being provided to assist 400 Iraqi women with health and hygiene education.

Since the first Gulf War, CWS has continued to provide material aid, social, economic, and health service projects for war-affected Iraqis, including psychosocial programs for children and capacity building assistance to local Iraqi development organizations. CWS was also lead agency in the All Our Children campaign, which provided more than $1 million to assist children affected by the conflict.


The past two rainy seasons have failed, and at least 12.5 million people in Ethiopia are facing food shortages as a result. Church World Service is supporting efforts of partners in the region to assist more than 120,000 vulnerable people through June of next year.

Efforts are focusing on providing emergency food, family food supplies or cash to purchase food, and seeds to vulnerable households to address immediate needs and improve their recovery and future household food security. Special focus is on people with disabilities and women-headed households. Distributions will include food grain, cooking oil, pulses, supplemental corn-soy food mixture for children and lactating and pregnant mothers, and seeds to reestablish crops.


A cornerstone of CWS disaster recovery work is in training people in disaster-stricken communities how to bring together people and resources to help persons of limited means recover. Yet, how is that done in large-scale calamities, where training is urgently needed across a whole state?

A test-case is in Indiana, where in June massive flooding gripped the state. Purdue University offered use of the state's higher education telecommunications system, a fiber-optic network of cameras and microphones, allowing trainers and students to interact from anywhere in the world.

By using this approach, CWS is able to train 275 people in the best practices of long-term recovery at 15 different Indiana locations in only two days. A similar approach is planned for recovery training in Iowa.