From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutherans Continue Aid for Earthquake Survivors in El Salvador

From news@ELCA.ORG
Date 13 Feb 2001 07:34:16


February 13, 2001


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America (ELCA) continue to support relief efforts in El Salvador, after
an earthquake and its aftershocks struck the Central American country
Jan. 13.
     The church's International Disaster Response initially provided
$50,000 for emergency assistance in El Salvador and parts of Guatemala.
An additional $20,000 was provided on Feb. 6.
     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 recent days, relief efforts have been complicated by rain,"
said the Rev. Y. Franklin Ishida, director for international
communication, ELCA Division for Global Mission.
     "Living conditions have become more precarious for people living
in already unstable environments.  Many conditions are exacerbating the
mental trauma earthquake survivors are experiencing," he said.
     At least 2,500 people were injured and 70,000 homes were damaged
or destroyed, Ishida said.  "Tens of thousands have been left homeless.
As many as 4,200 are reported missing.  Those missing are from Las
Colinas, six miles east of San Salvador," he said.  San Salvador is the
capital of El Salvador.
     Funds sent by the ELCA help support relief efforts coordinated
through Action by Churches Together (ACT), a worldwide network of
churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated
emergency response.  ACT is based with the World Council of Churches
(WCC) and Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in  Switzerland.  The ELCA is
a member of WCC and LWF.
     ACT members in Central America are working with LWF's Department
of World Service, the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod, Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada, Norwegian Church Aid, and the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Bavaria.
     ACT is distributing food and other items in two relief centers,
Ishida said.  One center is located in Santa Tecla, serving 300 people,
and the other in San Salvador, serving 3,000 people, he said.
     "ACT members are also trying to reach rural areas accessible only
by helicopter or foot.  Medicine, water and basic personal supplies
continue to be among the most needed items," Ishida said.
     "Relief groups are urging people who want to help to contribute
cash rather than material goods, since most relief items can be
purchased in Central America," he said.


Editors:  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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