Lutheran World Relief responds to Kenya crisis


Baltimore, January 2, 2008 -Rising tensions and violence in Kenya following a disputed election has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, with tens of thousands fleeing their homes.

In the western town of Eldoret in the Rift Valley, Reuters reports that about 30 people seeking refuge in a church died when a mob set fire to the building. Looting and fires have been seen in the area following the incident. Reports estimate that between 70,000 and 100,000 Kenyans have been uprooted by the violence in the country, with some people fleeing to nearby Uganda and Tanzania.

Lutheran World Relief, whose East Africa office is based in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, is responding to this humanitarian crisis as a member of the international aid alliance Action by Churches Together International. ACT members in Kenya report that the massive displacement requires urgent attention.

The ACT Kenya Forum has already mobilized some emergency food relief for displaced people in the Nairobi slums and in Kisumu, through ACT members Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid, with local implementing partners the Kenyan Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya. LWR staff and other ACT members are closely monitoring the situation and will determine the best ways to respond.

ACT Reports were used in this news release.

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), individuals and parish groups in international relief, development, advocacy and social responsibility.