From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutherans Aid War Relief in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

From news@ELCA.ORG
Date 07 Feb 2001 14:45:22


February 7, 2001


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America (ELCA) contributed $20,000 to the church's International
Disaster Response fund to support relief efforts from war in the Democratic 
Republic of the Congo.
     The war that began in August 1998 still continues today in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, despite the Lusaka Peace Accord signed in
July 1999, according to the Rev. Y. Franklin Ishida, director for
international communication, ELCA Division for Global Mission.
     The failure of the Lusaka Peace Accord seems to have been a result
of ineffective leadership; and the success of the accord depended on the
cooperation of the parties involved, Ishida said.  "None of the
signatories fulfilled what they had pledged, each blaming the other for
noncompliance," he said.
     Various reports from the United Nations indicate that more than 2
million people are "internally displaced" and more than 300,000 fled to
neighboring countries as refugees, Ishida said.
     "The U.N. World Food Programme estimates that more than 16 million
  one-third of the Congolese population   are affected by food
shortages, with 2 million of these facing severe shortages.  The level
of malnutrition in children is alarmingly high," he said.
     The funds sent by the ELCA will help support the relief efforts of
Action by Churches Together (ACT).  ACT is working with Eglise du Christ
au Congo (Church of Christ in Congo) in North and South Kivu, and the
Lutheran World Federation/World Service to provide food, shelter, health
care, water and sanitation items, tools and vegetable seeds.
     ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies
meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.  It is based
with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Lutheran World Federation
(LWF) in Switzerland.  The ELCA is a member of both the WCC and LWF.
  Coordinated through the ELCA Division for Global Mission,
International Disaster Response helps relief agencies provide funds for
food, medicine, drinking water, emergency shelter and other materials
and supplies.  Funds are also used to rebuild communities and to repair
structures destroyed by major disasters.
  In August 2000, members of the ELCA contributed $50,000 to the
church's International Disaster Fund to support the work of ACT in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.
-- -- --

When listing organizations receiving funds for aid to survivors of major
disasters outside the United States, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin
Islands, please include:

ELCA International Disaster Response
PO Box 71764
Chicago, IL 60694-1764

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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