Venezuela

ACT Appeal Venezuela: Assistance to Flood Victims - LAVE01

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Appeal Target: US$ 497,350
(Balance Requested from ACT Network - US$ 162,273)
Geneva, 5 January 2000

Dear Colleagues,

Incessant and heavy rainfall during the first two weeks of December 1999 triggered devastating flooding and landslides on 16 December. The National Assembly of Venezuela declared a state of emergency for the Federal District of Caracas along with eight other states. Many of the worst hit areas were those of the very poor and especially the shanty towns perched on steep mountain sides which were swept away in torrents of mud.

After communication with ACT members "Accion Ecumenica", the Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches of Venezuela, the Pentecostal Evangelical Union, the Episcopal Church and Centro de Educacion Popular "Exeario Sosa Lujan" (CEPEXSOL) an ACT Emergency Committee was formed with the support of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI).

On December 17 the ACT Coordinating Office provided U$17,500 from the Rapid Response Fund to Ecumenical Action for 'Crisis Response' and U$22,500 to the Lutheran Church on 23 December. ACT/Church World Service (CWS) provided a U$20,000 blanket fund for provision of 2,000 blankets and 2,000 mattresses for displaced families relocated to Barquisimeto through its partner CEPEXSOL. A shipment of health kits, baby kits and medicines is being prepared by CWS. ACT/The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) has sent US$5,000 to the Prebysteran Church and US$ 16,000 to ACT/CWS to cover transportation and consulting needs.

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.

ACT/CWS/LWF put together an assessment team which was in Venezuela from 27 December to 2 January 2000. The team was composed by one representative from the Comision Cristiana de Desarrollo (CCD) in Honduras and one from the LWF office in El Salvador. The aim of this visit was to support the creation of the ACT committee in Venezuela, organization of activities and assessment of the needs.

In order to avoid further delays this appeal is being issued with an incomplete budget - to a large extent there is no break down of line items. An update/revision will be issued once this information has been received.

Please kindly send your contributions to the ACT bank account.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit an application for EU funding, and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org

Geneviève Jacques, Director, WCC/Cluster on Relations

Miriam Lutz, ACT Coordinator

Rev. Rudolf Hinz, Director, LWF/World Service

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