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ERD's ongoing response to crises in Niger and Zimbabwe

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Episcopal Relief and Development is partnering with Lutheran World Relief, through Action by Churches Together International, to provide both short and long-term assistance to help alleviate the food emergency in Niger. A severe food security crisis in some pastoral and agro-pastoral areas has been caused by lack of rain, locust damage, and high food prices. At least 3.6 million people, including 800,000 children, are at risk of starvation. Nearly 3,800 of the country's 10,000 villages have been affected.
ERD's response in Niger is providing supplementary food aid, such as millet and milk powder, to a population of 50,000-52,000 in agro-pastoral regions including Tillaberi, Dakoro, and Tahoua.

"Through our partnership, we are also providing long-term solutions for farmers such as improved seeds for immediate planting and help with re-establishing seed banks," said Janette O'Neill, ERD Program Director of Africa.

Emergency assistance is headed to displaced people in Zimbabwe directly affected by drought and the government's Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order). Operation Murambatsvina has demolished shelters and market stalls and removed informal traders from Harare and surrounding areas throughout the country. More than 700,000 people have lost their homes and/or livelihoods.

Episcopal Relief and Development is partnering with HOPE Africa, the social development department of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, and the South African Council of Churches (SACC) to distribute blankets and food through Operation Hope for Zimbabwe. On Monday, trucks carrying a shipment of more than 6,000 blankets and 37 tons of food left Johannesburg. The supplies will be given to the most vulnerable children and families in and around Mutare, Bulawayo, and Harare.

"Our support for the relief efforts in Niger, Zimbabwe, and Ghana is providing critical food and other supplies to thousands of the most vulnerable children and families," said Robert W. Radtke, ERD President. "We plan to continue our commitment so people can return to their homes and restore their livelihoods."

Please pray for people affected by these crises. For updates on ERD's response to these and other disasters around the world, please visit www.er-d.org.

To make a contribution to help people affected by this crisis, donate to the Africa Relief Fund at http://www.er-d.org/, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development, Africa Relief Fund, PO Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101.

Episcopal Relief and Development, an independent 501(c) 3 organization, saves lives and builds hope in communities around the world. We provide emergency assistance in times of crisis and rebuild after disasters. We enable people to climb out of poverty by offering long-term solutions in the areas of food security and health care, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.