1998 NCC News Archives

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CWS Responds Following Afghanistan Earthquake

Who We Are:

CWS works in more than 70 countries, including the U.S., in disaster relief, human development and refugee assistance. It is a ministry of the National Council of Churches, the nation’s preeminent ecumenical organization which includes 34 Protestant and Orthodox member communions with a combined membership of nearly 52 million.

How to Help:

Contributions may be directed to CHURCH WORLD SERVICE, Attn. Afghanistan Earthquake, #976309, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Phone pledges or credit card donations: 1-800-762-0968.

NEW YORK, June 9, 1998 ---- Church World Service (CWS) is responding to a second devastating earthquake which hit Afghanistan on May 30, killing an estimated 4,000 people.

CWS and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) will concentrate efforts on 1,500 households in 15 villages of the Rustaq District, with a planned distribution of 1,500 tents, 3,000 blankets, and 1,500 food baskets.

CWS will provide $30,000 from its Blanket Fund and will appeal for more funds from its member communions to support a $102,925 appeal by Action by Churches Together International, a worldwide network of churches affiliated with the World Council of Churches and Lutheran World Federation that cooperate to provide humanitarian aid and relief programs.

CWS and NCA have been jointly implementing relief activities since the February earthquake, after which ACT appealed for $235,000 to provide seeds, fertilizers and agricultural tools. Partners in Afghanistan include the Norwegian Project Office and the Cooperation Center for Afghanistan (CCA), which have been implementing a rehabilitation project.

The earthquake—which measured up to 7.1 on the richter scale—damaged a wide area in northern Afghanistan. Some villages were totally destroyed, having been swept down mountainsides into valleys. At least 1,000 people were injured and at least 60,000 left homeless.

Poor roads and a shortage of helicopters have hampered relief efforts in the area such that local authorities had to arrange a convoy of food carried by donkeys and horses so that survivors could eat.

Weather is also a factor. The affected region is harsh, unforgiving land, with extreme temperatures ranging from 100s at day to below freezing at night.

The earthquake came at a particularly bad time for the region, which had been gradually limping back from the severe devastation caused by the February earthquake.


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