HOTLINE - week of June 13, 2011

CWS continues to assist conflict-displaced Cambodian families; Risk aversion is necessary, even in hard financial times; Help others by the bucket.

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Cambodia—Mrs. Mao Sophal distributes food to a woman whose family remains displaced by conflict along the Cambodia-Thai border.
Photo: CWS

CWS continues to assist conflict-displaced Cambodian families

Church World Service continues to provide food, water and other relief to families displaced by violence along the Cambodia-Thai border. Some 707 families – 3,142 people now living in four villages in Samraong Town – received canned fish, dried salted fish, sweet dried radish, vegetable oil and other relief supplies.  In addition, three 2,000-litre tanks were installed to provide the families with clean drinking water.

Tith Chantha, 34, lives with her 3-year-old daughter in a camp.  Her soldier husband, who is on the front lines in the continuing conflict, visits them one to two times a month.  Sometimes she and her daughter go to the border area for two to three days where she cooks for him and his comrades.  

Chantha is grateful for the assistance CWS has provided them, and for the transparency and equitable distribution which helps to prevent jealousy and hard feelings.  “All the items are good,” she says. “Even the mat, mosquito net, plastic sheet and canned fish are very good in quality.” In addition, Chantha and the rest of her community appreciate the water filter that helps to provide them with clean water to drink.

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Risk aversion is necessary, even in hard financial times

Natural disasters will not go away, and it's often the world's most vulnerable communities most at risk for suffering in calamities. That's why CWS works to help reduce the risks vulnerable communities face.

Donna Derr, director of development and humanitarian assistance for CWS, tells an audience at the Brookings Institution that the best defense is to develop plans that will help make us more risk averse.

“Only 14 states in the U.S. have actual substantive disaster adaptation plans,” says Derr.  “We have to be advocates as domestic disaster responders with our governments to put into place adaptation plans that will help our communities and our families to be more risk averse.”  

Even as many question spending more money on disaster mitigation in these hard financial times, Derr says, “If we don’t pay the cost of putting into place plans that will make our communities more risk averse, we will be seeing greater and greater loss of life and infrastructure throughout the U.S.”

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Help others by the bucket

Severe storms and flooding have devastated many communities across the U.S. this spring, and cleanup is proving to be a major task.  CWS has provided many of its Kits to help in the recovery process, including the CWS Emergency Cleanup Bucket. 

Most recently, CWS provided 200 of the buckets for needs in Pierre, S.D., following severe flooding in the area.  Additional buckets are urgently needed so CWS can continue to help communities respond to emergency cleanup efforts. Find out how to help.

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