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Recovery Program In Madagascar Newest In $2.6 Million CWS Response 

            April 13, 2000, NEW YORK CITY – A program to assist farmers and homeless families in Madagascar with shelter, rehabilitation and disaster preparedness training is the newest update in Church World Service’s $2.6 million flood recovery response in Southern Africa. 

            So far, Church World Service (CWS) has sent $673,000 in blanket and appeal monies to the region and has initiated long-term recovery efforts in Mozambique and Madagascar.  This newest program is part of $1.5 million CWS is planning for response in Madagascar. 

            Cyclones, heavy rains and floods have battered Mozambique, Madagascar and several other southern African countries since February.  The bad weather has continued, with another storm, Cyclone Hudah, hitting the region in mid-April, threatening to prolong suffering and food insecurity.  A week later, yet another cyclone is moving off the Southeast coast of Mozambique. 

            Though news coverage has centered on the devastation in Mozambique, Madagascar, an island nation of 13 million located off Africa’s east coast, also was hit hard.  Cyclone Hudah hit Madagascar most severely and was the third cyclone to affect Madagascar in eight weeks.   At least 200 people died there and some 800,000 people have been displaced.  Major road links have been interrupted or destroyed, and the International Committee of the Red Cross reports an increase in malaria, diarrhea and dysentery. 

            With an additional $580,519, the Church of Jesus Christ, Department for Development (FJKM - SAF), a CWS partner, will assist survivors who have lost their means of subsistence and their homes, as well as helping communities that have lost their schools and clinics.  The program will target 25,000 rural farm families by providing them with 5 kilos each of rice and maize seeds; 3,000 homeless families with housing rehabilitation kits and resettlement kits.  Housing rehabilitation kits contain nails and cement and resettlement kits include blankets, mosquito netting, soap, and anti-cholera water treatment kits. 

            In addition, FJKM plans to hold a community-based disaster response training program to include up to 83 participants and to be held in July.  FJKM will initiate Food For Work programs for a two-month period for 3,000 people to rebuild community infrastructure (schools and medical clinics) and construct 20 granaries to promote food security in the affected regions. 

The FJKM’s roots are with the Quakers, London Missionary Society and the French Protestant Mission, which came together in 1968.  “The Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar has pizzazz, moxie and a sound organizational structure that includes congregations in 108 villages,” said CWS Emergency Response consultant Ivan DeKam, who met with churches across the region all during the month of March to assess how CWS can best help them meet recovery needs. 

            CWS has also mounted a recovery effort in Mozambique, working with the Christian Council of Mozambique (CCM) and the Presbyterian Church of Mozambique (IPM) to help people return home and prepare for a September planting.  Until the harvest six to eight weeks after that planting, families will go to distribution centers for basic food support. 

Across southern Africa, Church World Service (CWS) is supporting the local purchase of rural resettlement kits which will equip families as they return home.  They include cooking pots, a charcoal stove, dishes and utensils, blankets, sleeping mats, soap, a water container, a bucket, a basin, plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, a water filter and basic foodstuffs such as rice, beans, maize, sugar, salt and cooking oil.  In Mozambique, the kits also include landmine awareness materials since the floods have left mines exposed, unstable and/or swept to new areas. 

Persons wishing to support CWS’s post-flood response in southern Africa may do so by sending contributions to: CWS Southern Africa Flood Appeal, #976416, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.  Phone pledges or credit card donations: 1-800-297-1516 ext. 222.  On-line contributions: 


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