ERD responds to emergencies in Indonesia and the Gaza Strip
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is providing emergency assistance to communities in Indonesia affected by landslides and floods that have killed at least 120 people and left tens of thousands homeless. Heavy rains that began in mid-December inundated the main island of Java causing mudslides and rivers to overflow in Central and East Java.
At least 60,000 people are in temporary shelters in the region. Flood waters have left thousands of others marooned in their destroyed villages, surrounded by 20 to 30 foot high walls of packed mud, unable to seek shelter. Thousands of acres of paddy fields are completely submerged. Most areas are still without electricity and there is a limited supply of clean water. While flooding is common during the rainy season, many people are blaming deforestation for what officials are calling “the worst flooding in a generation.”
ERD’s partner in Indonesia, Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, has been responding to the most severely affected areas since December 26. ACT is providing bedding, clothing, water and baby kits. A mobile clinic was also organized to attend to the wounded and others needing medical care.
In the Gaza Strip, ERD is providing emergency assistance to Ahli Arab Hospital, which has been severely impacted after the closing of Gaza’s borders on January 17 created fuel shortages throughout the territory, resulting in the closing of Gaza’s main power plant. The blockade was eased this week to allow for emergency fuel shipments.
Suhaila Tarazi, the Ahli Hospital director, sent a message stating the severity of the crisis. “Life in Gaza has become terrible and people suffer from fear, humiliation, and poverty.”
ERD is providing critical support to help the hospital procure fuel to operate its generator and steam boiler. With ERD’s help, the hospital can secure enough fuel to remain open and continue to serve the community.
To help people affected in Indonesia and Gaza, please make a donation to ERD’s “Emergency Relief Fund” online here or by calling 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development “Emergency Relief Fund” P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.
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