(Originally issued February 25, 2000, for $200,000; revised and expanded March 6, 2000 to $500,000 )
Signed by the Rev. Dr. Rodney Page, CWS Executive Director
March 20, 2000
SUMMARY: Church World Service, the relief and development agency of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA is focusing its efforts in southern Africa on long-term recovery programs and helping build the emergency management capacity of regional partners.
SITUATION: New heavy rains are hampering relief efforts in Mozambique and other parts of southern Africa in what have already been the worst floods in generations. Some 300,000 people in Mozambique alone are still requiring food and shelter assistance, the BBC reports, but thousands are returning to their destroyed communities -- just as large-scale international relief efforts are scaling back. Cholera and malaria remain serious problems. The official death toll remains under 500 in Mozambique, but relief workers have said the toll is, in all probability, much higher, with hundreds more dead there and in neighboring countries.
Meanwhile, wealthy nations have announced a suspension -- but not outright cancellation -- of Mozambique's external debt which for the year 2000 is estimated to be $73 million. Already one of the world's poorest nations, Mozambique has an enormous poverty rate -- 3 out of 4 live below the poverty line -- and advocates of Jubilee 2000 (of which CWS is a supporter) have said that servicing the nation's heavy debt burden is one reason the nation's infrastructure has been so ill-equipped to deal with a month of flooding.
RESPONSE: Based on a March 8-12 assessment by CWS/ERO Director Rick Augsburger and International Disaster Response Consultant Ivan DeKam, CWS is seeking $2.6 million long-term recovery efforts in Mozambique, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe
This work includes resettlement and return of affected families, specifically providing blankets, the local purchase of rural resettlement kits and assisting efforts to develop an ecumenically based emergency committee coordinating long-term recovery efforts.
CWS will be working with Christian Council of Mozambique (CCM) -- to whom it has already provided $10,000 in blanket assistance to help 2,000 survivors -- and a number of other partner agencies in the region. These include: the Presbyterian Church of Mozambique (IPM); the Council of Churches of Madagascar; FIKRIFAMA of Madagascar; South Africa Council of Churches (SACC) in Zimbabwe.
The specifics of the long-term response will include:
- Provide assistance for some 24,400 individuals,
which will include the local purchase of blankets and/or tarps.
Support the local purchase of rural resettlement kits. These kits, valued at approximately $180 each, will include blankets, health kits, cooking utensils, plastic sheeting, essential food supplies and cooking oil, a charcoal cooking stove, washbasin, jerry can, mosquito netting and mine awareness materials. The kits may also include agricultural inputs, including corn seed, beans, fertilizer and hoes.
- Assist efforts to develop an ecumenically based emergency committee to help coordinate long-term recovery efforts.
- Provide resettlement kits to 8,000 families.
- Provide emergency management training to local staff
- Provide assistance to 4,500 families and provide financial assistance for the local purchase of blankets.