HOTLINE - week of June 6, 2011

CWS emergency appeal: Angola floods, 2011 spring storms continue, as does CWS response, CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets urgently needed!

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MOJoplintornadodamageREUTERSEdZurgaMay11.jpg
On May 22, Joplin, Mo., was devastated by tornadoes that leveled entire neighborhoods and killed 142 people.
Photo: REUTERS/Ed Zurga,courtesy www.alertnet.org

2011 spring storms continue, as does CWS response

Imagine a day that begins like any other – and ends with the knowledge that nothing will ever be the same. Families across the West, Midwest, East Coast and southern U.S. have watched their homes, lives and livelihoods torn apart by monstrous tornadoes and massive floods this spring.

The tornado outbreaks of 2011 have been the deadliest since 1950, with more than 520 people losing their lives to the twisters. And, with tornadoes touching down everywhere from California to North Dakota to Florida to Massachusetts, the phrase “tornado alley” has become a misnomer. More than 27 states have been hit thus far, and storm season marches on.

Floods this year have forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes along the lower Mississippi River. Millions of acres of farmland have been inundated with flood waters – in some cases intentionally -- to save the more populated areas surrounding them. The Ohio River, Mississippi River and many others swelled far beyond their shores causing widespread damage. And flooding continues: this week’s story comes from points along the Missouri River, where heavy rains and water release from a dam are causing severe flooding

The combined physical damage from these disasters is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. The psychological damage is incalculable.  

CWS’s response –The organization’s initial appeal, for $80,000, was recently expanded to $280,000 to meet the growing needs of affected communities. CWS emergency response specialists will conduct long-term recovery training sessions for communities facing the arduous task of rebuilding.

CWS has already shipped the following supplies to several hard-hit areas: 868 CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets; 1,020 Blankets; 780 Baby Care Kits; 4,260 School Kits and 33,960 Hygiene Kits. CWS is also providing 200 Emergency Cleanup Buckets to Crow Agency, Mont., a Native American community affected by flooding. Another 6,000 Hygiene Kits are on their way to Massachusetts, where tornadoes tore through Springfield and 18 other communities on June 1.

Contributions for CWS emergency response efforts may be made online or sent to your denomination or to Church World Service. (Please specify Appeal #627-P.)

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CWS emergency appeal: Angola floods

Since January, Angola has been affected by heavy rainfall, landslides and flooding – a continuation of the floods afflicting the south-central African country during the last three years.

This year's floods have been particularly damaging. All 18 of the country's provinces have suffered; some 254,000 people have been directly affected, and at least 234 persons have been killed. In addition, more than 5,500 homes have been destroyed – including some 3,500 in the Uige Province alone.

The northwestern Angola province was one of the areas most affected by Angola's long-term civil war. Though much of its infrastructure is still in disrepair, it remains a destination for returning Angolans who had fled during the conflict. Many of these returnees are living in squalid conditions without enough to eat. Floods and mudslides have damaged almost 75 percent of the area’s cultivated land.

CWS is working with the Evangelical Reformed Church of Angola to provide assistance for nearly 7,000 flood survivors – about 2,000 families – specifically those in the three municipalities of Uige Songo, Bembe and Mucaba. CWS is helping to provide food and non-food items such as tools and seeds to help these families return to farming and become self-reliant.  The program is also providing training for some 100 people in rural development and disaster mitigation.

Contributions for CWS response efforts may be made at www.churchworldservice.org or sent to your denomination or to Church World Service. (Please specify Appeal #642-K.)

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CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets urgently needed!

So far, the 2011 tornado season has produced more than twice as many twisters than were seen last year at this time. Find out how to help.

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Your support for Church World Service work around the world and in the U.S. is urgently needed.

 

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