Church World Service has already provided $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 Church World Service partners, Centro de Educación Popular Exeario Sosa Lujan (CEPEXSOL), in Barquisimeto, and Caracas-based Asociación Civil Pazy y Vida.
Rev. José Rodas and Mainor Cerron, representatives of CWS and our Honduras-partner, the Christian Commission for Development (CCD), are in Venezuela this week, providing materials, pastoral care, and assisting in the development of an ecumenical disaster response committee with our partners in Venezuela.
Even as we help meet the immediate needs of survivors, Church World Service is laying the groundwork, with help from CCD, to support longer-term recovery and reconstruction needs in Venezuela. 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.