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CWS Moves Quilts Quickly to Afghanistan Earthquake Site
Quilts Were Made by Afghan Women Refugees in Pakistan

March 26, 2002, NEW YORK CITY - Earthquakes that hit northern Afghanistan late Monday (March 25) and early today have added "yet another layer of need to the already critical needs that continue to multiply in Afghanistan," said Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan Director Marvin Parvez, phoning from Pakistan.

The series of quakes, including one measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, hit a remote mountainous area in Baghlan province, in the Hindu Kush region. Initial reports said that at least 1,800 were killed; 4,000 were injured; some 1,500 homes were destroyed and 20,000 are now homeless, according to the interim Afghan government.

Church World Service, with 20 years of humanitarian work in Afghanistan, most recently has reached out to Afghans fleeing war and drought with a shelter assistance and food program for some 17,000 families. As its first response following the earthquake, CWS is transporting 7,000 quilts from Quetta, Pakistan, to the affected area of Afghanistan.

The quilts are made by Afghan women refugees as part of a CWS-sponsored quilt-making income generation project. Quilts will leave Quetta Wednesday (March 27) and are expected to be distributed by the end of the week. With the help of staff from Shuhada, a partner organization, CWS will distribute the quilts to people displaced by the earthquakes. Further CWS response is being planned in collaboration with partners.

CWS, a global humanitarian ministry of the 36 member communions of the National Council of Churches, has long experience in the region and responded to an earlier earthquake in 1998 that affected the nearby provinces of Takhar and Badakhshan that killed an estimated 8,500 people. In the affected region, CWS has previously worked with long-time partner Norwegian Project Office (NPO) in emergency response.

Donations may be directed to Church World Service, Attn. Afghanistan Earthquake Response, 28606 Phillips St., Elkhart, IN 46515; 800-297-1516; on-line donations


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