1998 NCC News Archives

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CWS Sends Blanket Funds to China in Wake of Severe Floods

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 52 million.

How to Help

Send contributions to CHURCH WORLD SERVICE, Attn. China Floods #976309, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Phone pledges or credit card donations: 1-800-762-0968.

NEW YORK, August 13, 1998 -- Church World Service is sending $100,000 in Blanket Fund monies to assist with international relief efforts in the wake of severe flooding along China's Yangtze River.

Action by Churches Together (ACT) International is appealing for $514,754 to support the relief efforts of The Amity Foundation, a long-time CWS partner and ACT member. Amity will be focusing its disaster relief work on assisting disaster survivors in Jiangxi, Fujian and Hunan provinces and will provide food, clothing, medicines and assistance for home reconstruction. Amity plans to help the most vulnerable communities restore a selective number of schools and water and irrigation projects. Amity has begun its relief work with the $100,000 from CWS and $25,000 from ACT's Rapid Response Fund.

Amity Officials report being shocked at the extent of damage. Some 18 million housing units have been damaged or destroyed and 21.5 million hectares of farmland have been damaged. In many places, this flood has been the worst on record, said Tan Li Ying, Amity's relief coordinator. Some survivors are even comparing it to the floods of 300 years ago during the Qing Dynasty.

More than 2,000 have died from flooding and officials say is the worst in 50 years. Fully one-fifth of the population of China – 240 million people in all – is in some way affected by the flooding. Ninety percent of those who have perished have died in landslides and mudslides.

"The needs are great," reported Tan Li Ying. "As many houses were washed away in a very short time, the victims only had time to take very little with them."

-end-

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