CRWRC’s International Disaster Response Team and Asia staff are responding to Tropical Storm Saola in the Philippines this week, working to provide emergency food, clean-up kits, and mudding-out services to some of the 580,000 people who were evacuated from the knee- to neck-high floodwater in the last ten days. Forty-nine residents have been reported killed in flooding and mudslides.
This month CRWRC is launching a new livelihood initiative for families in the Republic of South Sudan who have returned to the region after living as refugees for decades. In partnership with the World Food Programme, this five-month Food for Assets (FFA) program will provide a partial food ration as well as equip 980 South Sudanese returnees throughout Yei River County, Central Equatoria with the agricultural tools and training they need for fruitful livelihoods in the world’s newest country.
There is joyful buzzing going on these days in the Nebbi Diocese of the Church of Uganda—both among the excited residents and around the beehives they are establishing as an ongoing source of income through the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC).
When a massive 8.6 earthquake hit this year off the shores of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia on April 11, 2012, the communities in Banda Aceh where CRWRC had been working during the tsunami, knew exactly what to do. As they sounded a tsunami alert and evacuated everyone from their villages along specially designed roads, they were fearfully reminded of another earthquake and tsunami that had occurred eight years earlier with devastating results.
Oulou* lives in a village in West Africa with his wife and four young children. When he was a young boy, Oulou had polio, which made him lose the use of his legs. Today, 37 year-old Oulou is one of the many individuals taking part in the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC)’s West Africa drought response project.
Bonifácio Agostinho and his family are grateful to God for their livelihood as farmers. Last year the family produced a large crop of cassava and 150 kg of rice on their fields in Nampila, Mozambique. But God’s work in Bonifácio’s life does not stop there— Bonifácio has also had a central role in blessing his church and entire community.
The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is partnering with a local organization* in Damascus to respond to the needs of Syrians who have been displaced from their homes by violence and unrest.
Unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic has been ongoing for over a year and is continuing to affect civilians, particularly in the most vulnerable segments of the population. Homes have been burned, people have been killed, and the entire population is living in a state of uncertainty and unrest.
After two years of very poor harvests, people in many parts of Niger are struggling to get enough food to survive. Outside of Niamey, Niger’s capital, food is being distributed by the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) to people who lost the majority of their crops after the rains stopped early and grain never developed on the heads of the millet crop they had planted.
Starting in May, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) will have a new program to address the health and nutrition needs of women and children in Kenya thanks to the Canadian government, the University of Manitoba, and the Canadian Foograins Bank (CFGB).
This week, families and communities in Mwatate, Kenya will have a new source of water and a new hope for consistent supplies of food thanks to a borehole being drilled by the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) and its local partner, ACK (Anglican Church of Kenya) Pwani Christian Community Services.
Niger has suffered six severe food crises over the past 30 years, four of which came in the past eight years. This year, as the country faces another crisis situation, CRWRC is responding.
Niger, a country in West Africa, is often cited as the poorest country in the world. Nearly 63% of the population lives below the poverty line and 34% is below the threshold for “extreme poverty.” This population is especially vulnerable during times of crop failure and food shortage.
“There is nothing like living for a time in a different culture to broaden your horizons or change your value system,” said Fred Schuld who served with CRWRC in the Philippines from 1970-1974.
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: One Year Later
On the afternoon of March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific Coast of Japan. It was the most powerful earthquake in Japan’s recorded history, triggering a massive tsunami with waves up to 40 meters in height that engulfed entire towns.
CRWRC is expanding its drought response efforts in Ethiopia. In 2011 the entire East African region experienced the lowest level of rainfall in 60 years. CRWRC responded with $10 million of programming, providing food and water to those in need as well as fodder and veterinary care for their livestock. For many, the situation began to improve after the long rains arrived. However, there are still several parts of Ethiopia – particularly in the mid and lowland areas - that have not received sufficient rains. These communities expect another season of crop failure.
As the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) nears the completion of its $10 million response to drought in Eastern Africa, its International Disaster Response team is now shifting some of its attention to West Africa where a new food crisis is looming.
In the coming months, between five and nine million people risk going hungry in the Sahel, a semi-arid region just below the Sahara, due to a season of erratic rainfall, drought and insect infestations in Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.
In late January, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) concluded its final food distribution in Kenya in response to the East Africa drought.
In 2011 the region of East Africa experienced its lowest level of rainfall in 60 years, affecting over 13 million people. Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia were particularly hard hit. Because droughts have become more frequent in this region in recent years, communities have been left with little time to recover, making each new drought more devastating.
“Christian Extension Services has helped our communities like no other organization,” said a resident of Seriah-Karawani village in Sierra Leone, “We’ve learned not to look at our differences anymore, but what do we have in common and work for a common goal together. Unity is important.”
JANUARY 12, 2012—Two years after the catastrophic earthquake of 2010 shook the heart of Haiti, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (www.crwrc.org) is working consistently to help those who were hardest hit recover. Last month, CRWRC completed construction on the 2,500th home built in Leogane, near the epicenter of the quake, providing shelter and security to another, still homeless family.
“The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC)’s response to the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010 has impacted many more lives and garnered much more resources than anyone on CRWRC’s International Disaster Response team could have anticipated,” said Ken Little, CRWRC Senior Project Manager for International Disaster Response, on the eve of the two year anniversary of this tragic event. “The response has been broad and complex, but has always been seen through the lens of the families and communities whose lives were torn apart.
Burlington, Ont -- In the early hours of December 17, strong winds and heavy rains caused massive destruction in coastal communities in the southern Filipino island of Mindanao. The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is responding.