Iraq + 4 more

CWS Hotline - Week of 06 Aug 2001

News and Press Release
Originally published
CWS-Pakistan is helping to provide emergency food, bedding, and shelter, along with reconstruction kits and kitchen utensils, to assist 1,000 families (about 6,000 people) hardest hit by monsoon-caused flooding in Rawalpindi and Mansehra districts, and in the capital Islamabad. In Islamabad, aid is going primarily to Hansa/Charles and Essa Naghry, poor communities in need of emergency assistance.


Two typhoons -- Feria (or Utor) and Gorio -- swept across the Philippines in July, battering the island of northern Luzon with heavy winds and rain. In their wake, the storms devastated farmlands, isolated provinces and displaced thousands of people. At least 163 people died, 180 were injured and 60 are missing. More than 40,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. A part of the population affected by the typhoons has also been impacted by the recent eruption of Mayon volcano, which remains active and is preventing evacuees from returning to their homes.

CWS partner, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), is proposing a project to to provide food and non-food materials and medical assistance to at least 10,500 families most affected by the typhoons. Food-for-work projects will assist farmers and communities who will be clearing farmlands and repairing damaged houses. The NCCP also plans to provide seeds and other farm inputs to 500 peasant families, which will help them to recover from their economic losses.

Assistance will also be given to urban poor communities in the capital region of Manila and in Baguio City, which suffered heavily from flooding. Food assistance will consist of rice, canned food, cooking oil, sugar, legumes, dried fish and salt. Non-food items will include blankets and sleeping mats, with priority given to vulnerable urban families whose houses were totally submerged by floodwaters. Another 200 families whose houses were totally destroyed are receiving plastic sheeting and tents as temporary shelter. Volunteer medical practitioners and paramedics are being organized to provide free medical services in areas with a high incidence of upper respiratory illnesses, diarrhea, and skin diseases.

CWS is seeking $15,000 in support of NCCP's response to typhoon-affected families in the Philippines.

Indonesia and Taiwan

At least 35 people died this past week from landslides and floods that devastated the mountainous interior of Nias island, Indonesia, which is located off of the west coast of Sumatra. At least 1,500 people are reported homeless and some 200 are missing.

In Taiwan, at least 77 people died as a result of severe flooding caused by Typhoon Toraji early last week; more than 100 people are missing. The typhoon struck Taiwan's eastern coast and central mountains, causing the worst floods and landslides since 1959. It is reported that some roads in the hardest-hit areas have been swept away, preventing emergency services personnel from providing rescue and relief. Officials in both Indonesia and Taiwan have said deforestation contributed to the landslides.

CWS-Indonesia is conducting an initial assessment on Nias island to determine a possible CWS response. CWS partner, the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, is providing food assistance to disaster survivors.

On Taiwan, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), a CWS partner, is providing emergency shelter assistance and has begun initial assessments. CWS is in contact with PCT about a possible response there.


CWS has recently provided $160,125 worth of sewing materials and "Gift of the Heart" Health Kits to the Mennonite Central Committee, for distribution to families in need in Iraq. CWS has provided some $3 million in humanitarian aid for families and children in Iraq since 1991, including blankets, "Gift of the Heart" Kits, food, and medicine.


This year, some 25,000 people in Madagascar are benefitting from 40 new water systems being constructed with the help of CWS and our partner, FIKRIFAMA, the Christian Rural Development and Water Resources Program. Not only will these people, living in 100 villages, have access to clean water in this ongoing CWS-supported project, but they will also participate in FIKRIFAMA agricultural and basic health care programs that will help to eliminate waterborne and other endemic diseases, and further improve the quality of their lives.

Members of each village are learning about maintenance and up-keep of the water systems, and are also developing their leadership and other development skills to help their communities.

FIKRIFAMA is also inspecting and repairing water systems previously installed in other villages.

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