The Emergency Disaster Response Fund is a program of the Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA). The Fund ensures that the church can respond as quickly as possible to a domestic or international disaster with urgently required funds.
Thanks to an anonymous gift, a revolving Emergency Disaster Response Fund was established by GHDA in 2000. The fund allows GHDA to allocate funds immediately when an emergency occurs and then replenish the Fund with donations forthcoming from a church-wide appeal.
Synods are encouraged to establish similar designated funds. In the event of an emergency, GHDA in collaboration with the synods, can develop a proportionate and appropriate response. In the event of a localized emergency, one or more synods can respond directly.
In responding to an emergency, the following guidelines for the distribution of funds should be considered:
- When authorities declare a major emergency, the GHDA management team, in consultation with the National Bishop may authorize a church-wide appeal.
- In the case of international disasters outside of Canada, GHDA will have the lead responsibility for coordination of the response. Synods will play a supportive role.
- In the event of a local disaster, a synodical bishop can authorize the immediate disbursement of funds from the synod and issue a synodical congregational appeal.
- In the case of regional disasters within Canada, the appropriate synod will have the lead responsibility for coordination of the response. GHDA will play a supportive role.
- GHDA may forward immediate emergency funds from the revolving Emergency Disaster Response Fund.
- Donations to the appeal will be used to replenish the Emergency Disaster Response Fund. Once the Fund is replenished, all additional donations received will be allocated to the emergency.
- Funds will normally be used for immediate humanitarian needs.
- Funds will be directed through appropriate lead agencies and front-line providers.
- GHDA will collaborate with other churches and ecumenical agencies where possible.
- GHDA will collaborate with the synods to effect the most prompt distribution of funds. Payment in this period may be made either by GHDA to national organizations or through the synods to national, regional or local organizations as appropriate and most effective.
Short Term Response (weeks following)
- GHDA will provide sustained support to disaster areas with funds received as a result of the appeal.
- GHDA may also consider a second gift from the Emergency Disaster Response Fund.
- GHDA will maintain a consultative relationship with the appropriate synod or agency.
- GHDA will continue to inform the ELCIC constituency about the situation and to request funds for the emergency through the appeal.
- GHDA priority will be humanitarian aid to victims of the disaster and secondarily, restoration of communities.
- GHDA will not compensate individuals directly but will work through local agencies and organizations to ensure an equitable process of compensation for all people affected.
Longer Term Response (months following)
- GHDA will continue to provide support to disaster areas as long as the appeal continues to generate donations.
- GHDA will continue to inform the ELCIC constituency about the situation and what assistance is still required so that the appeal may continue to generate emergency funds.