In recognition of World Relief's community development work in the area over the past ten years and well-planned disaster response, the U.S. Office of Disaster Assistance gave a $700,000 grant to buy maize and bean seeds and tools. "World Relief is recognized for its extensive work with a network of community and governmental bodies throughout the province," reads the agreement. "World Relief has the experience, administrative and logistical structure, and the human resources to undertake this program."
Upon arrival in Maputo, the seeds will be transported by truck and helicopter for distribution in villages affected by the floods. World Relief plans to use the volunteer network developed through its child health program to help with seed distribution in the villages. MedAir, a Swiss Christian relief organization, is contributing additional funding for tools and transportation.
"Getting these seeds and tools to 26,260 farmers would be an enormous challenge in Mozambique during normal times. Doing so with roads and bridges washed out, phones down, and mud, mud everywhere will require a miracle," says Galen Carey, World Relief Mozambique Country Director.
High levels of rain in February created massive flooding in southern Mozambique forcing about 350,000 people to leave their villages for higher ground. The flooding occurred right before harvest leaving people with no food for the coming months.
"Rescuing people from trees and rooftops was dramatic, but far more lives are at stake now. Most people live off farming. Without a harvest, more people, especially children, could die of malnutrition and related illnesses in the coming months than the number that perished in the waters," Carey says.
World Relief's goal is to raise a total $3.97 million to rebuild homes, farms and people's lives in Mozambique.
For further information or to arrange interviews, contact Linda Keys at (630) 665-0236, ext. 202 or Victoria Vass at ext. 215. World Relief is the international assistance arm of the National Association of Evangelicals.