HOTLINE - week of October 11, 2010

Flood survivors in Pakistan continue to receive emergency aid from CWS; October 16 is World Food Day; your participation in CROP Hunger Walks helps families and communities improve their food security.

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Anwer Saeed
Pakistan--Anwer Saeed stands amid what's left of his family's home.  He wants to rebuild the outer walls before winter.
Photo:  Donna Fernandes/CWS


Anwer Saeed, 23, works in an electronics store to support his mother, Pashima, and two younger brothers. His father died more than ten years ago. The 2005 earthquake brought down the family’s home, which they were eventually able to rebuild.  This year, devastating floods at the end of July washed away much of their rebuilt house--the boundary walls, two bedrooms and the kitchen.

“The recent floodwaters filled our house.  After the waters receded, we came back from staying with relatives and cleared out the mud,” says Saeed.

Saeed’s house is situated along the Hunza River. Eight other houses in the village were also ravaged by the floods. The families received food packages from CWS, and Saeed says, “The food packages are good and will last us for up to two months. We cook in our neighbor’s kitchen and use their utensils. All of our utensils were washed away by the floods.”

Saeed would like the bedrooms back, and his mother longs for her kitchen. “My youngest brother sleeps inside near my mother, but my other brother and I need our rooms,” says Saeed. “We did not have much time to leave with our things. In fact, we saw people leave nearby houses and quickly decided to leave.”

With much responsibility on his shoulders, Saeed plays the role of not just the eldest brother but also the family bread winner. Together he and his brother bring home an average of 6,000 Rupees per month (about $71).  “It is not easy to rebuild what we have lost. The coming of winter is another worry. It gets really cold here, and my immediate concern is to get boundary walls constructed to protect us from the winter winds.”

Through CWS’s emergency response, families in flood-affected communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Sindh provinces are receiving food packages, non-food items, medical care, and shelter supplies. CWS is also planning to provide building trades training for community rebuilding, as well as additional support for livelihoods restoration.

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World Food Day

On this World Food Day, October 16, families in many parts of the globe are growing more nutritious food, with the help of Church World Service. And, this weekend and every weekend throughout the fall, people are participating in CROP Hunger Walks to help make this work possible. Thank you!

In West Timor, farmers are learning about homestead food production and the use of more of the food resources around them, such as native vegetables.  After struggling with poor harvests and malnourished children, now these farmers are successfully planting crops that provide better nutrition for their families.  And, CWS is working to alleviate severe malnutrition in children under five by providing multi-vitamin and mineral supplements.  

In Serbia, some 1,500 people--elderly, displaced, disabled, unemployed, ethnic Roma, children and women--in Smederevo Municipality are getting meals at area soup kitchens or receiving meals delivered to them with assistance from CWS.  CWS is helping participants raise food--including chickens, pigs and vegetables--for meals for low-income people.

In Tanzania, sweet potato farmers in eight villages in the Temeke and Gairo regions have organized and are learning better ways to grow, store, process and market their crops, with the help of CWS and partner Trust for Rural Food and Development.  Sweet potatoes are a major staple food in the region.  Some 23,000 people are benefitting from the project.

In Nicaragua, 200 families--932 people--in 10 communities in the municipalities of La Conquista and Santa Teresa, Carazo department, are taking part in a food security and nutrition project through a program of CWS and local partner CIEETS, with support from the Foods Resource Bank.  In addition to training, the families have received bean and corn seeds, along with other plant material and fruit trees--oranges, mandarin oranges, mangoes, passion fruit, coconut, bananas, plantains and cassava--to establish and diversify their gardens and crops.

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