World Relief President calls for help for Zimbabwe

BALTIMORE, September 18, 2002 - World Relief President Dr. Clive Calver returned last week from Zimbabwe where he was assessing the needs in what many say will be the worst famine Southern Africa has faced in more than 60 years.
Calver describes the situation in Zimbabwe as "ghastly." A severe drought and dubious government policies have crippled the food supply throughout Zimbabwe. "These people here have absolutely nothing to eat, and they are beginning to die," Calver said.

According to the United States Agency for International Development, 6,000,000 Zimbabweans alone will face death if action is not taken. "This famine facing Zimbabwe is the worst one seen in years," Calver said. " This one dwarfs the Ethiopian and Sudanese famines."

Calver explains that churches are key in the response to the growing famine in Southern Africa because they [churches] understand the needs of their communities better than outsiders do and can distribute aid more effectively.

"The West needs to know what is happening to the people of Zimbabwe," Calver said. "Americans and American churches are the only hope the people of Southern Africa have."

Andrew S. Natsios, administrator of USAID, recently briefed the U.S. Department of State on the food crisis in Southern Africa, also outlining the importance of funneling the necessary aid through "NGOs and church groups" to insure proper distribution among the needy.

For nearly 60 years, World Relief has worked with the local churches to create sustainable solutions that help the desperately poor. Operating programs in nearly 30 countries and 27 cities in the U.S, World Relief responds to both emergencies and long-term issues, including disaster response, AIDS and urban ministries, community health, agricultural development, child evangelism and community banking.

To arrange interviews with Dr. Clive Calver, please contact Matthew Pugh at 443-451-1966.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Pugh at 443-451-1966
7 East Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 P www.worldrelief.org P Fax: 443-451-1995 P E-mail: mpugh@wr.org