A NEWS RELEASE
From Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA)
Winnipeg, 15 August, 2006--The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)'s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) joins Canadian Lutheran World Relief in an appeal for the people of Lebanon, in partnership with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Action by Churches Together (ACT), at the request of the Middle East Council of Churches.
While a fragile cease-fire is holding, respected so far by both Israel and Hezbollah, and the war seems to be over, it is a war lost by everyone. The Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko, General Secretary of the LWF commented, “Sadly, every bomb dropped and rocket fired in this latest conflict has sown new seeds of hatred, making peace in the Middle East an even more difficult challenge than before. Regardless of gross statistics, the experience of loss, pain and anger is similar for each victim of the violence, whether Israeli or Arab, and every such experience must harden the heart.” Clearly, now, there remains the hard work of winning the peace.
In Lebanon more than a million people have been displaced from their homes and the infrastructure of an entire nation has been ruined. At least 30,000 homes and apartments have been destroyed, around 1,000 civilians were killed, and at least 3,400 wounded or injured.
ACT member, the Middle East Council of Churches is responding to the situation through their program the Inter-church Network for Development in Lebanon (ICNDR). Through this preliminary appeal they are requesting assistance to respond to the most immediate needs of the affected population. They are proposing to provide food, non-food relief items, water and sanitation and psychosocial attention. The preliminary proposal is for three months. In the meantime, they will continue assessing the situation and revise their proposal accordingly.
GHDA has released $5,000 from the Disaster Fund to assist immediately in this crisis and invites members of the ELCIC to contribute generously to this appeal. In addition, members of the ELCIC are encouraged to pray for all the peoples impacted by recent events. The ELCIC partner church in the region, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, invites prayer for all: “Please pray for the people of Gaza, Palestine, Israel, and Lebanon, that God’s power for justice and reconciliation will swallow up the powers of death, destruction and violence.”
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