Asia Flooding Crisis

August 17, 2007

Millions of people across central and south Asia are struggling to cope with some of the worst flooding in decades. Reuters reports that at least 35 million are affected in India, Bangladesh and Nepal alone. Pakistan, China and Viet Nam are among other Asian countries also seriously affected

Members of the global alliance Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, which includes the United Church of Christ and Church World Service, continue to respond to multiple floods crises across vast regions of Asia. Reuters reports that 35 million people are affected by the crisis in India, Bangladesh and Nepal alone. China and Pakistan have also suffered torrential rains and floods in the past month.

As ACT members respond, they are seeking to impact and meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the midst of this widespread crisis. ACT members also suggest that climate change is a factor in this increasingly torrential monsoon season with its resulting humanitarian emergencies.

One Great Hour of Sharing is currently supporting major ACT appeals for flood assistance in Pakistan, India and China and anticipates receiving additional appeals soon for Bangladesh and Nepal.  Make a secure online donation.

In Bangladesh, ACT member Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS) is currently responding and assisting 16,000 families through food and non-food item distribution. RDRS and other ACT members, including the National Christian Fellowship of Bangladesh (Koinonia) and the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB), are also planning a response and possible appeal for the flood situation in the country.

ACT's member in China, the Amity Foundation, is launching an appeal the week of August 6, 2007 through ACT to respond to the flood emergency in the Chongqing municipality and also the Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. Amity plans to impact 5,000 homeless and severely affected families through their response.  Planned emergency assistance includes distribution of food and non-food items as well as rehabilitation of drinking water systems, irrigation systems, houses, clinics and schools.

At the beginning of August, ACT member Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Nepal began food assistance to 5,000 people in specifically targeted vulnerable villages. Other assistance by LWF includes the distribution of non-food items and roofing to more than 550 families. Plans for a larger appeal for the country are still being assessed by LWF.

ACT members in India, Churches Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) and Lutheran World Service India (LWSI), began assisting flood-affected families at the beginning of August in the West Midnapore district in West Bengal. ACT members are supporting 2,700 flood-affected families by providing non-food items including blankets, clothing and home utensils. Initial funding of USD $50,000 came from the ACT Rapid Response Fund. Members in India are currently assessing the needs for an appeal and longer-term response in West Benghal.

At the end of June, the Pakistan/Afghanistan office of ACT member Church World Service (CWS) began responding to the Pakistan flood situation in Gadap and Sindh. CWS provided immediate food assistance and also distributed non-food items to vulnerable families with support from the ACT Rapid Response Fund. Further work is being done to coordinate a larger appeal for the wider region including the hard-hit Balochistan province.

The ACT International Coordinating Office works closely with its members to ensure appropriate assessment and coordination with governments, UN agencies, churches and other responders in all of their humanitarian assistance.

How You Can Help:

  1. Pray for all who are adversely impacted by flooding.
  2. Make gifts payable to your UCC Congregation, marked for "International Disaster Fund" in the memo portion, and send to your Conference Office with a note asking that the gift be forwarded to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
  3. Gifts may also be sent directly to Wider Church Ministries.
  4. Make a secure on-line donation now.
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