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EDITOR'S NOTE: Funds for emergency response in El Salvador following Saturday’s earthquake may be sent to:

Church World Service, Attn. El Salvador Earthquake
P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515
Phone Pledges/Credit Card Donations: 1-800-297-1516 x222
On-Line Contributions:

January 16, 2001, NEW YORK CITY – Church World Service is part of a global alliance that has released $50,000 in rapid response funds as a first step in ecumenical assistance to survivors of the series of earthquakes and landslides that began on Saturday in El Salvador, where the rising death toll has surpassed 600.

The funds will help provide shelter for survivors. CWS, the service and witness ministry of the (U.S.) National Council of Churches, is supporting emergency response efforts being carried out by partners in El Salvador, including the Lutheran World Federation, the Salvadoran Lutheran Church and other fellow members of Action by Churches Together (ACT), a global alliance of some 200 Protestant and Orthodox churches and aid agencies.

According to rescue and aid agencies, some 4,000 people are missing – 1,200 in the metropolitan area of Santa Tecla and 3,000 in the town of Comasagua, both in the south zone of El Salvador’s capital city, San Salvador.

The LWF and Salvadoran Lutheran Church have both sent emergency teams to affected areas for rapid assessment and support for sheltering and feeding survivors. LWF is distributing food and other relief items, including blankets and mattresses, in two camps in Santa Tecla, for 300 people, and San Salvador, for 3,000 people.

ACT also has provided digging tools to the communities where people have been desperately trying to remove mud and debris for the last days. Many rural areas remain isolated due to blocked roads; rescue teams, including ACT staff, are walking up to four hours to reach isolated communities.

CWS Response Personnel Chris Herlinger and David Barnhart (Presbyterian Disaster Assistance) are traveling to El Salvador Tuesday on behalf of CWS/ACT to provide communications and assessment support to the faith-based response.


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