From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutherans Provide Funds for Famine Relief in Ethiopia

From News News <NEWS@ELCA.ORG>
Date Fri, 27 Dec 2002 15:07:14 -0600


December 27, 2002


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America (ELCA) contributed $70,000 of the church's International
Disaster Response fund to support famine relief efforts in Ethiopia.
     "More than 6.8 million people in Ethiopia are facing severe food
shortages," said the Rev. Y. Franklin Ishida, director for international
communication, ELCA Division for Global Mission.  In early 2003, the
number of people affected by the famine is expected to rise to about 10
million, he said.
     Ethiopia is a country highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture,
said Ishida.  "This year's partial or total failure of the belg (short
rain) in many areas aggravated the food problem.  The 'meher' (longer
rain) also came late and was erratic, affecting the cycle of crop
development and the availability of pasture and water supplies in many
areas.	Many areas have also not recovered from the drought conditions
of 1999 and 2000," he said.
     ELCA funds were sent to Action by Churches Together (ACT) for
implementation by the Ethiopian Evangelical (Lutheran) Church Mekane
Yesus and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).	The Ethiopian
Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus and the LWF have been active partners in
relief operations in some regions of Ethiopia, said Ishida.  Both
entities "are seeking to ensure people's access to food and minimize
their vulnerability to food insecurity," he said.
     "Famine relief will be achieved by providing direct food aid, such
as grain and other foods, the distribution of seed and farm tools, and
restocking livestock like goats and oxen," said Ishida.
     "Goats will be distributed to households who have lost their
livestock.  Priority will be given to the most vulnerable female-led
households.  Women will also receive training in animal husbandry and
marketing skills," said Ishida.
     "Experience indicates that the distribution of goats has helped
women become empowered and increased household income.	It had also
challenged traditions that denied women the right to livestock
ownership," he said.
     Coordinated by the ELCA Division for Global Mission, International
Disaster Response often channels its funds through international church
organizations and relief agencies.  ACT is a worldwide network of
churches and related agencies that meets human need through organized
emergency response.  It is based with the World Council of Churches
(WCC) and the LWF in Geneva, Switzerland.
     The LWF is a global communion of 136 Christian churches in the
Lutheran tradition in 76 countries representing more than 61.7 million
of the 65.4 million Lutherans worldwide.  The WCC represents 400 million
Christians in more than 340 churches, denominations and fellowships in
120 countries and territories throughout the world.  The ELCA is a
member of both organizations.



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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