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Church World Service Emergency Response News Briefs 

CWS Arranges Shipment of Health Kits to North Korea

As part of ongoing relief efforts in North Korea, Church World Service has arranged the shipment of $180,000 worth of health kits to the North Korea-based Korean Christians Federation. The kits are expected to arrive in North Korea by the end of August. CWS partner Mercy Corps is serving as the coordinating agency of the shipment. California-based Evergreen Airlines is donating the cost of freight. 

CWS Providing Assistance in Colombia and Venezuela

CWS is providing $14,000 for blankets and bedding to assist some 200 families who have been displaced in recent fighting between guerrilla and paramilitary forces in the Sur de Bolivar region of Colombia. CWS is working with the Solidarity Network with Colombia (SEMBRAR), a CWS partner. 

In Venezuela, and with the support of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), CWS is providing $17,325 worth of school supplies and $4,865 worth of layettes to Ecumenical Action, a CWS partner responding to ongoing needs in Venezuela following last December's flooding. 

Hurricane Mitch Staff Team Adds New Member

Melissa Humphries, a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), has been appointed volunteer site liaison for the CWS Hurricane Mitch staff team in Honduras. She joins Lindsay Dell, also a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Completing their term of service are Phil Grabowski (Reformed Church in America) and Ryan Calkins. 

CWS Sends Assistance for Work in Indonesia

CWS has rushed $35,000 to support the work of CWS-Indonesia in serving displaced persons from the Maluku islands of Indonesia who have arrived in Buton and Kupang. A few days ago, CWS issued an appeal for $60,385 for a program by the CWS-Indonesia in which displaced persons who have sought refugee in Buton and Kupang will receive food and non-food assistance and psycho-social support. More information can be found at: www.cwserp.org  

New Jersey Flooding

Cleanup continues in New Jersey, where a six-hour downpour Aug. 12-13 caused flooding throughout a wide region and is believed to have caused more than $100 million in damage. Floodwaters -- caused by more than a foot of rain -- damaged or destroyed at least a half dozen dams, contributing to flooding and mudslides. The state of New Jersey has declared parts of  Sussex and Morris counties disaster areas. 

CWS Disaster Response Facilitator Joann Hale (United Church of Christ) is working with New Jersey-based Disaster Resource Consultants Laura Porter and Deborah McCauley from The Episcopal Church in assessing needs and possible long-term recovery efforts.  Hale has also been consulting with Marie Varley of the Northern New Jersey CWS office. 

In addition, CWS is sending 100 cleanup kits to the Sparta Ecumenical Council in Sparta, N.J., and 200 health kits, 300 school kits and 200 clean-up kits to the Community Food Bank/America's Second Harvest in Hillside, N.J.  Community Food Bank/Second Harvest also is distributing 200 cleanup kits that had been provided earlier by CWS in response to flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. 

India Flooding

At least four million people have been affected by severe flooding in the Indian states of Assam, Bihar and West Bengal, and in neighboring Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Some 300 people are feared dead and it is believed that millions have lost their homes, Reuters reports. The flooding has also caused immense damage to crops, livestock and infrastructure.  

The Action by Churches Together (ACT) International network has issued an appeal for $693,088 to support efforts in India by Lutheran World Service-India and Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), a long-time CWS partner. 

CWS is supporting the efforts of CASA, which seeks to provide clothing, blankets, kitchen utensils, dry food (including rice) and tents to 8,500 affected families in Assam, Bihar and West Bengal. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable populations, such as women, children, the elderly and members of marginalized groups. 

CASA's portion of the appeal is $234,472; this includes $19,318 for blankets; $115,909 for tents; and $17,386 for rice.  Church World Service is asking its member denominations for $80,000 to assist CASA's relief efforts. In addition, CWS is securing $20,000 in CWS blanket funds for use by CASA. 

NOTE: Support for humanitarian response in emergencies may be directed to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.  Phone pledges or credit card donations: 1-800-297-1516, ext. 222.   On-line contributions to: www.churchworldservice.org

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