1998 NCC News Archives

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Church World Service Response to the Sudan Famine

NEW YORK, July 29, 1998 ---- Church World Service, working in collaboration with Action by Churches Together (ACT), an international ecumenical emergency response network, is stepping up efforts to help end starvation in southern Sudan, where drought has compounded a 15-year civil war.

At least 1.2 million – and perhaps as many as 2.5 million – people are in dire need of food. Two joint ACT-Caritas (Catholic relief agency) appeals earlier this year received overwhelming support, which enabled a consortium of church agencies, including Sudanese churches, Caritas, and ACT network members Lutheran World Federation and Norwegian Church Aid, to deliver more than 1,000 metric tons of food and 85 metric tons of seeds to the Blue Nile region and 400 metric tons of food and 100 metric tons of seeds to Bahr el Ghazal.

Another 200 metric tons of food is on the road, though rail and transport problems have caused some delays. Since the need is far greater than what the humanitarian aid community can cover, members of this joint ecumenical response propose to continue the intervention through expansion of the two ACT appeals, requiring another $3 million in additional public and denominational support told a $7 million total.

The ACT/Caritas operational area has been extended, and is considered extremely difficult and dangerous. The Blue Nile operation includes transport and distribution of emergency relief supplies, including food and blankets; purchase of a land cruiser, motorcycles and the airlift of vehicles, and logistical and program costs. The Bahr el Ghazal operation targets food assistance, agricultural tools and feeding centers for internally displaced people, returnees and impoverished residents hit hardest by the war and current drought, particularly the Dinkas, and many of them under age 14.

CWS will channel funds to ACT. Please designate CWS Emergency Account #976309 – Sudan Food Relief.  Contact: Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Credit card contributions: 1-800-297-1516 ext. 222.

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