HOTLINE - week of October 25, 2010

Three months after massive floods began, CWS emergency and recovery assistance continues in Pakistan; CWS continues aid for quake survivors with disabilities in Haiti; and promotes cholera prevention basics; CWS Kits needed

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Boys in Khairpur, Pakistan
Pakistan—These boys in Khairpur smile despite the post-flood hardships they are experiencing.
File photo: CWS

Updated October 26, 2010

Indonesia earthquake and tsunami

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra, at 9:40 p.m. local time on Oct. 25. A resulting 10-foot tsunami penetrated about one-third mile into coastal villages, inundating homes. CWS West Sumatra colleague Rev. Rugun Pakpahan reports that at least six villages in Mentawai District were swept away by the waves.  More than 100 people are known dead, some 500 are missing, and 645 families are displaced, as heavy rains and strong winds continue.

Government search and rescue efforts are underway, and officials have identified that the immediate need for survivors is food and shelter.  The Ministry of Social Affairs has sent instant food, blankets, clothing, and clean water, and is providing $56,000 in cash for the response.  Church World Service is providing 140 Baby Care Kits and is assessing additional needs in partnership with the Mentawai Christian Protestant Church.

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This week marks three months since devastating floods inundated major portions of Pakistan.  

Church World Service has helped to address flood-related needs since the beginning of the emergency and has provided food, medical care and/or tents for some 100,000 people.    

Once emergency needs are met, families and communities will need to focus on restoring their livelihoods, and the humanitarian community’s most significant contribution will be its efforts to assist in livelihood restoration, notes CWS staff in Pakistan. CWS is currently opening construction trades training centers to equip communities to rebuild, and is providing additional support for livelihood restoration.

See the video Pakistan floods: Inside the CWS response.

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Last month, Jeannine Adelphin was crowned Miss Disabled Haiti 2010 on national TV.  Jeannine competed against nine other women with disabilities, reciting poetry for the talent portion.  Other participants in the CWS-sponsored Haiti program for people with disabilities were excited and proud to see their friend, and someone like them, on TV and recognized for her talent--and her beauty, inside and out.

It's an example of how, despite the earthquake or perhaps because of it, a small movement is growing that establishes the value of persons with disabilities, empowers them to participate in Haitian society, and even deepens the very definition of beauty and humanity, says CWS’s Aaron Tate.  CWS is part of the movement, in collaboration with longtime partner Service Chretien d'Haiti (SCH).

The pageant was organized by the Secretary of State for the Integration of Disabled People. The department, headed by Dr. Michel Pean (who is blind), has collaborated with international organizations, including participating in distribution of CWS Kits to people with disabilities soon after the quake.

CWS is working to integrate and empower people with disabilities, and has worked with SCH to develop a program to provide emergency cash, psychosocial support, counseling and micro-business support.  With the modest cash grants, people with disabilities are starting small businesses to survive and recover.  The CWS program is also focusing on house repair.

As CWS continues to assist people recovering from the January earthquake, some communities in Haiti’s northwest are experiencing a devastating cholera outbreak.  Thus far, some 250 people have died.  

CWS is working through its partner programs in Haiti to educate people about safe water and hand washing and ensure other preventative measures are being taken, and is relying on partners who are experts in sanitation and health to respond as needed.

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Kits needed

“Emergency Clean-up Buckets are our most-needed Kit at this time,” says CWS’s Cindy Watson.

“The tied-for-second most-needed Kits are School and Baby Care.  We never seem to have enough of either.” 

For information on contents of Kits and where to send them, visit

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