From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
CWS Expands Hurricane Georges Recovery
CAROL_FOUKE.email@example.com (CAROL FOUKE)
09 Oct 1998 17:33:14
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the
Contact: Wendy McDowell, NCC, 212-870-2227
EDITORS: When listing organizations receiving funds for
humanitarian response to Hurricane Georges, please
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE, Attn. Hurricane Georges, P.O. Box
968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Phone pledges or credit card
CWS works in more than 70 countries, including the
United States, in disaster relief, human development
and refugee assistance. It is a ministry of the
National Council of Churches, the nation's preeminent
ecumenical organization which includes 34 Protestant
and Orthodox member communions with a combined
membership of nearly 52 million.
Note: For local and regional contacts in hurricane-
affected areas, call the NCC Communication Department
99NCC10/9/98 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CWS EXPANDS HURRICANE GEORGES RECOVERY PROGRAM IN
Ecumenical Recovery Efforts Also Underway in Gulf Coast
NEW YORK, Oct. 9 ---- As continuing assessments in
Puerto Rico following Hurricane Georges are revealing
more extensive damage than was first expected, Church
World Service (CWS) is expanding its response to
provide emergency relief shipments and to determine
long-term needs in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, strong
faith-based recovery efforts assisted by CWS volunteer
disaster consultants are coalescing around long-term
needs in the Gulf Coast and Texas-Mexico border area.
Damage in Puerto Rico alone is now estimated at
more than $2 billion, including 45,000 homes destroyed,
another 45,000 with severe damage, and considerable
"In some areas, power may be out for as long as
eight months," reported Shirley Norman, CWS/FEMA
Regional Facilitator from Puerto Rico. "Some 17,000
people remain homeless by the storm, and in rural
areas, a lack of clean water is leading to an increase
The cornerstone of CWS efforts will be a shipment
of material goods to Puerto Rico and Cuba. A shipment
valued at more than $100,000 will go to the Puerto
Rican Council of Churches and other groups and include
sheets; blankets; clean-up, health and school kits;
flashlights; backpacks; kerosene lanterns; air
mattresses, and portable generators. A shipment valued
at more than $70,000 will go to the Cuban Council of
Churches, including sheets; blankets; health, sewing
and school kits, and canned beef donated by the Church
of the Brethren.
To support the appeal, congregations and community
groups are being urged to assemble "Gifts of the Heart"
clean-up and health kits.
Additional recovery efforts in the region
supported by this appeal include:
$50,000 for Haiti, where CWS will assist relief and
reconstruction efforts through the ecumenical
organizations CONASPEH (National Spiritual Council
of Churches in Haiti), Ecumenical Committee for
Peace and Justice (COPJ) and SKDE (Christian Center
for Integrated Development).
CWS has sent $8,000 to the Puerto Rican Council of
Churches for immediate food distributions. Ms.
Norman, a Church of the Brethren representative from
Pennsylvania, is working with Waddy Gonzalez, Puerto
Rico-based FEMA voluntary agency liaison, to
organize a broad-based ecumenical response that will
bring together the Council, CWS member
denominations, and members of small Pentecostal
churches and the Catholic Church.
CWS has sent $15,000 in Emergency Advance Funds to
Dominican Churches Social Service (SSID), a long-
time partner in the Dominican Republic, for
immediate relief needs there, including blankets and
Meanwhile, faith-based recovery efforts continue
in the Gulf Coast region and in the Texas-Mexico border
Work in the Del Rio, Texas, area following late
summer flooding is continuing on two fronts,
according to Regional Facilitator Norman Hein (FEMA
Region VI), of Lutheran Disaster Response. The
ecumenical group "Del Rio Recovers" has hired staff
and is working with partner churches across the
border in Mexico to assist poorer "colonias" in
Acuna. The partnership is focused now on supplying
mattresses to disaster survivors. Volunteers to
assist with construction work will be needed later
in the year through early 1999, Mr. Hein reports.
Jodi Hill of Florida Interfaiths Networking in
Disasters has been assisting in assessments in
Florida, where cleanup efforts are ongoing.
Back Bay Mission is taking the lead on faith-based
recovery efforts in the Biloxi, Miss., area, while
Mobile-VOAD Interfaith is likely to head efforts in
Alabama. Among those who may be assisted in the
Mississippi Delta area are Laotian and Vietnamese
Rains from Georges spared New Orleans, but
exacerbated problems in Louisiana from Hurricane
Frances. CWS Louisiana-based Disaster Resource
Consultant Peggy Case of Catholic Charities is
overseeing the already established Terrebone
Recovery Assistance, which is responding. CWS is
also helping the religious community elsewhere in
the state to build interfaith organizations based on
the Terrebone model.
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