The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), through its partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), is appealing to its members for financial support to assist with relief efforts for drought-affected people in East Africa.
The lack of rain in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya has created food and water shortages that threaten the lives of 11 million people. The World Food Program reports that tens of thousands of Somalis have died from starvation. Thousands more Somalis suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, and exhaustion arrive in Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps every day seeking aid, swelling the camps far beyond their capacity and causing a major strain on resources.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the drought in East Africa," says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. "Having been in Ethiopia just this past April, I have seen first hand the devastating effects that the lack of rain, dry conditions and land erosion has had in this region, as well as the effective work of CLWR and the Lutheran World Federation World Service in addressing these needs. It is important that we assist our brothers and sisters by donating to this appeal."
CLWR has issued an appeal that will provide support in the region in the following ways:
- Distributing over $1.5 million of food (1,900 tons) in Ethiopia in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Ethiopia. This large-scale emergency food aid project is responding to immediate needs for relief in the drought-stricken district of Goro, a district in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Over 18,000 people will benefit from the distribution.
- Through their partnership with the LWF, in supporting refugee camps in the region. The LWF-managed Dadaab camp in Kenya is hosting over 1,300 new arrivals per day, most from Somalia. LWF camp interventions include the distribution of nine tons of flour mix for supplementary feeding of children and the elderly; the distribution of clothes, slippers, and sanitary wear for women; and regular water deliveries using a 7,000-litre truck.
- Providing assistance to people still in Somalia, specifically to newly displaced people in Mogadishu and to those affected by drought in the Gedo region. This support is administered through our partnership with the ACT Alliance and will include the distribution of food, water, sanitation, and shelter.
“We have extreme confidence in our experienced partners on the ground in East Africa,” says Robert Granke, CLWR’s executive director. “We know every donation sent to CLWR will be used wisely.”
CLWR has worked in Africa for years on food and water security projects and will continue to work toward sustainability in the region. CLWR’s five year development goal in our Africa programs is to provide safe water supply, storage capacity and/or irrigation to over 150 communities in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Zambia. CLWR is training African farmers in sustainable agriculture and livestock management, and providing them with the tools they need to feed themselves and their families. CLWR’s ongoing development work in the region helps to mitigate the effects of crises such as drought and famine by building food and water security that lasts.
Donations can be made in the following ways:
- ELCIC members are asked to donate to the appeal by making a designated offering donation for “2011 East Africa Drought” through their ELCIC congregation.
- Online at www.clwr.org/donate. When completing the form, you will come to a pull-down menu that allows you to designate a specific project. Choose “2011 East Africa Drought.”
- By calling CLWR’s toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
- By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate that you wish to contribute to East Africa drought relief.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
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