CWS Hotline - Week of 03/01/00: Floods and mudslides devastate Venezuela

Scattered showers continue to hit Venezuela this week, causing many to fear a repeat of the mid-December flash floods and mudslides which killed some 50,000 people and left 400,000 homeless. The Venezuelan government has stated that 50.7% of the population in the state of Vargas and 27.7% in the Federal District of Caracas are now homeless.
CWS has provided an initial $20,000 for blankets and mattresses for 2,000 people who are being sheltered in Barquisimeto and Caracas, Venezuela. The evacuees are being assisted by CWS partners, Centro de Educaci=BEn Popular Exeario Sosa Lujan (CEPEXSOL), in Barquisimeto, and Caracas-based Asociaci=BEn Civil Paz y Vida.

Even as we help meet the immediate needs of survivors, CWS is laying the groundwork to support longer-term recovery and reconstruction needs in Venezuela. Don Tatlock, Church World Service/Christian Commission for Development (CCD) joint work team coordinator in Honduras, met with our partner organizations in Venezuela to assist in assessment and planning, and will be assisted by a team from CCD.

Just a year ago, CWS was responding following Hurricane Mitch. Emergency aid led to reconstruction, including deployment of work teams. Similar response is expected in Venezuela, where the need is likely to be even greater.

Your prayers and support make possible these and other life sustaining programs. Gifts may be made through your local church, or directly to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. To make a credit card contribution, please call 1-800-297-1516, ext. 222, or visit the CWS website at For information about CWS/CROP community events in your area, please call your regional office at 1-888-297-2767. For information about free loan videos, please call your regional office or the Elkhart office at 1-800-297-1516, e-mail to: To receive the Hotline via e-mail, please send your e-mail address to