Middle East/Horn of Africa: A call for dialogue

Report
from DanChurchAid
Published on 07 Feb 2006
DanChurchAid's work in the Middle East and in the Horn of Africa region is strongly influenced by the crisis between Denmark and the Muslim world. It is not only a governmental responsibility to restore the peaceful and trustful dialogue. According to DanChurchAid, the humanitarian organisations with partners in civil society in the Middle East have to work together with the Government concerning this issue.
DanChurchAid's work is deeply affected by the escalating crisis between Denmark and the Muslim world.

In Sudan, DanChurchAid's office in Darfur has been the target of stone-throwing and demonstration. Several employees have been evacuated from the West Bank for security reasons just as several accompaniers on their way to the region have been withdrawn.

DanChurchAid will do all we can to restore trust and dialogue.

DanChurchAid has therefore decided to strengthen the effort of dialogue and peace in the Middle East and thus increased the funding with DKK 250,000 (approx. USD 40,255) towards the dialogue process in the Middle East and Denmark.

"We have written to all our close partners in the region and asked for their help to identify the possibilities for stronger dialogue. We wish to engage our partners in dialogue in the Middle East and Denmark, to preserve and strengthen humanity and religious respect and tolerance," says General Secretary of DanChurchAid Henrik Stubkjær.

"We will encourage the Danish Government to join us in increasing the effort and engaging the peoples of the Arab countries. In the light of recent events, we need to rethink our approach and efforts. There have been demands to reduce the contributions to the work in the Middle East. This, however, will be very unfortunate and only increase the gap between Denmark and the Muslim world. It is important to keep the opportunities for dialogue open - in Denmark as well as abroad," says General Secretary Henrik Stubkjær.

DanChurchAid has had a very positive cooperation with the Pakistani community in Denmark concerning the earthquake in Pakistan. DanChurchAid's partners in the Middle East include many church organisations such as The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and YMCA. Other partner organisationssolely with a humanitarian point of view include women's organisations and human rights organisations.

For more information please contact:

General Secretary Henrik Stubkjær, cell: +45 29 70 06 00
Programme Coordinator Uffe Gjerding, cell: +45 33 15 28 00.