HOTLINE - week of June 7, 2010

Ratcheting up CWS health and nutrition work in Indonesia; CWS calls for comprehensive climate and energy legislation; Cyclone Phet hits Pakistan; CWS assesses needs; Tornados hit Midwest

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Girl planting vegetables
Indonesia—A girl and her family plant vegetables in a community garden on the island of Nias. As a nation of islands, Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT

Indonesia

Church World Service is heightening its knowledge, skills and focus on health and nutrition related issues with a training seminar for staff in Indonesia. Badwi M. Amin, CWS Senior Program Officer for Health and Nutrition, says, “The goal is to strengthen the health and nutrition program of CWS Indonesia by improving the capacity of its staff on accessing and addressing health and nutrition related problems in their areas of intervention.”

Malnutrition contributes to over half of all deaths of children under 5 in Indonesia.

Church World Service is fighting malnutrition and food insecurity and has health and nutrition programs in Timur Tengah Selatan District, NTT (Nusa Tenggara Timur); Makassar District, South Sulawesi; Nias District, North Sumatra; and Aceh province.  Focus is on health promotion and disease prevention, nutrition education and supplementation.

Feeding infants and children, nutrition for children and mothers, and maternal-child health are all issues addressed in the recent trainings.  CWS also invited officials from the Ministry of Health to provide information on its programs and policies in the areas of nutrition and child and maternal health.   

As a follow-up to the training, CWS conducted a health and nutrition workshop to create action plans for each office in each area of intervention. The participants were divided into groups based on the geographic area in which they work.

Each group shared health and nutrition issues in their area and presented their intervention activities plan. Hindra Sulaksono, CWS Program Manager in the Aceh office, explained, “Aceh faces a high mortality rate of children under 5, a high number of underweight children under age 5, and a high rate of mother mortality. After this training and workshop, we’re going to do health and nutrition assessment and data searching in our area of intervention in Aceh.”

Climate and energy legislation

“Legislation that emasculates the EPA’s regulatory powers would be a major setback to addressing climate change,” said CWS Executive Director and CEO John L. McCullough in a statement to the U.S. Senate last week.    

Speaking on proposed legislation by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating climate-changing greenhouse gases, McCullough went on to say, “The EPA’s authority now is currently the only legal foothold we have that can require emitters to meet responsible standards.”

CWS works with some of the world’s most vulnerable people already suffering from climate-provoked food and water shortages. Says McCullough, “U.S. goals for sustainable global development and poverty reduction cannot be achieved if climate change is not successfully addressed.”

For more information on CWS climate change advocacy and our climate-focused programs, see www.churchworldservice.org/enough

Pakistan

Cyclone Phet made landfall in south Pakistan on June 6, with the storm’s center striking between the city of Karachi and Thatta District, in southern Sindh Province. Pakistan’s coastal areas, including Sindh and Balochistan, experienced heavy rainfall, high winds and severe flooding. More heavy rainfall is expected due to the cyclone depression over the next 24 to 48 hours.

The effects were felt as early as Friday in some areas. Hundreds of fishing boats were reported missing, and news reports indicate as many as 10,000 houses were destroyed in Gwadar.  Impassable roads and disconnected phone lines hinder communication, travel and relief efforts.  

CWS-Pakistan/Afghanistan’s team has been on the ground in the affected areas since Friday. Assessment of the actual extent of damage and the areas where assistance is most needed continues. People affected by the disaster will need assistance in terms of food, shelter, safe drinking water, hygiene kits, medicines and health services.

Tornados hit Midwest

Parts of Ohio, Illinois and Michigan were among areas that experienced widespread tornado damage over the weekend. CWS is currently assessing needs.

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After tornadoes and prolific rains hit the southern U.S., damage was most severe in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi. CWS Emergency Response Specialists have been in contact with disaster recovery personnel in all affected areas. CWS expects to work with long-term recovery partners in multiple states and has sent various CWS Kits to partners in the region. In all cases, CWS expects to provide emergency response grants to nascent long-term recovery groups and material resources as needed.

 

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