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.
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.
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).
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.
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.”
“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.
Nancy TenBroek walks many miles on narrow, muddy roads and crosses streams on rope bridges in order to reach tribal villages in Bangladesh, where she helps train workers to care for mothers who are at risk of delivering seriously ill, low, birth-weight babies.
As the health care advisor for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Asia, TenBroek does this work in Netrokona, a remote northern district that government officials in Bangladesh have identified as one of 14 districts having a high child and maternal mortality rate.
A tropical storm hammered Central America for over a week starting October 11 with torrential rains, causing extensive flooding and damage in Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico. The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is responding with emergency food and medical supplies.
CRWRC Newsroom | October 13, 2011
Improving the health of women and children, and reducing the number preventable deaths around the world are priorities for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC). Thanks to a $688,881 contribution from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), CRWRC will scale up its maternal and child health programs in Malawi and Bangladesh over the next three and a half years.
CRWRC Newsroom | August 8, 2011
In addition to its major drought response in Kenya, CRWRC has agreed to expand its reach to two projects in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. These projects will be carried out in partnership with Food for the Hungry Ethiopia and will provide 4,334 households (21,668 people) with emergency food aid for five months.
In the wake of the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear threat that brought the world’s attention to Sendai, Japan, CRWRC is working on a coordinated response with local, denominational, and interdenominational partners to help survivors put their lives back together.
On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 earthquake rocked the country of Haiti. The 35-second quake killed over 230,000 people and displaced 1.5 million more. Virtually the entire country came to a halt as schools, churches, hospitals, government buildings, homes, and entire neighborhoods crumbled to the ground.
The international community responded quickly and generously to the needs of quake survivors, the Christian Reformed Church of North America included.
November 15, 2010- As Haitian authorities announced a cholera outbreak in the Artibonite and Central departments in Haiti four weeks ago, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee's (CRWRC) International Disaster Response Team was mobilizing to better prepare communities to protect themselves from the illness.
CRWRC's earthquake response in Haiti is primarily centered in five communities in Leogane, about 30 miles outside the capital.
Wayne de Jong, Director Disaster Response and Rehabilitation, 905-336-2920 x240, or cell 905-515-1720
Beth DeGraff, CRWRC Media Contact, 1-800-55-CRWRC, x4191 or cell 616-648-7821
AUGUST 11, 2010-CRWRC is increasing its response to ongoing flooding in Pakistan to $2.3 million as intense rain and widespread floods continue to deluge the densely populated country from north to south.
Groups of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are finally providing aid to earthquake survivors thanks to CRWRC's local connections.
"The past days we have been busy helping teams of medical workers from Medical Teams International, an organization that collaborates with CRWRC, set up in Haiti," reported CRWRC-Haiti staffmember Ad deBlaeij. "The first group of doctors, nurses and other personnel arrived on Saturday.
As one million fish adjust to new surroundings in Laguna de Bay in the Philippines, hundreds of families are rejoicing at the future income these fish represent. The fish are part of a program, called "More Food, More Fish," that CRWRC is undertaking in the Los Banos area of the Philippines in response to typhoons that hit the area earlier this year.
Laguna de Bay is the third largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, covering over 911 square kilometers.
CRWRC is distributing $250,000 worth of medical supplies donated by its partner Medical Teams International (MTI) to typhoon survivors in the Philippines.
OCTOBER 6, 2009-The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (www.crwrc.org) is building a multi-phase response to two powerful earthquakes that rocked Indonesia last week, including Padang, Sumatra, the city at one quake's epicenter.
"Right now, we're giving out water, food, and clothing just to keep people going," says Jacob Kramer, from CRWRC's disaster response and rehabilitation office. "We're distributing tarps as temporary shelter so families have a roof over their heads.