Primate’s fund aids victims of hunger and tidal wave

Published September 1, 1998

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund has sent $25,000 to help a drought- and war-stricken Sudan.

That’s in addition to the $25,000 it sent earlier this year.

“The needs are so great there,” says Elsa Tesfay Musa, refugee/emergency relief co-ordinator for the primate’s fund.

Millions of Sudanese are at risk of starving because of severe drought, the situation having been made worse by years of civil war. People have not been able to grow any food.

“We’re talking about more than two million people suffering,” Ms. Musa said. “Any donation will make it possible for people to get food and other assistance.”

Relief funds will be used to buy food, plastic sheeting (for temporary shelter) and blankets for people displaced by the war.

The relief programs also include the purchase, transportation and distribution of seeds, agricultural tools, kitchen utensils and soap.

The money will also help establish a feeding centre which will be set up to provide nourishment for six months to about 1,000 children under five years old.

In another area of the world hit by a natural disaster, the fund has sent $10,000 in assistance to the victims of the 10-metre high tidal wave that struck Papua New Guinea in July.

The devastating tidal wave slammed into the north-west region of the country, killing thousands of people and wiping out entire villages, leaving thousands more homeless and destitute.

The Papua New Guinea Council of Churches was to use the money from the primate’s fund to buy food and clothing in the capital Port Moresby for distribution to the stricken regions. The Roman Catholic Church is looking after distribution of the donated items because the area hit is predominantly Catholic.

Ms. Musa said the donation is badly needed and will be greatly appreciated.

“Whole areas have been wiped out and the government is going to have to relocate the survivors, so they’re going to need our support in the long term and I’m sure the people there are going to be very grateful,” Ms. Musa said.

Other countries, including Australia and New Zealand, have also donated money to the cause.

The tidal wave is the second natural disaster to hit the people of Papau New Guinea recently. Last year, the country was struck by a prolonged drought and frost, caused by El Nino. More than 100 people died of starvation and thousands more faced food shortages.

The primate’s fund responded to last year’s emergency with a donation of $4,000 for food and water.

Many people have contacted the primate fund’s office in the wake of the storm coverage, wanting to donate money for the relief efforts.

Ms. Musa said all funds earmarked by concerned Anglicans for “Papua New Guinea Tidal Wave” will be forwarded to our partners there.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Papua New Guinea as they struggle to rebuild their lives after the devastating effects of the tidal wave,” Ms. Musa said.


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