A NEWS RELEASE
From Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA)
Winnipeg, October 12, 2005 (ELCIC)-- Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA), of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), is accepting donations to support relief efforts after an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit parts of the south Asian subcontinent on Saturday morning, October 8. Any person or congregation wishing to contribute to relief efforts can send donations to GHDA, please mark your cheque GHDA: Pakistan / India Earthquake Appeal or go online to http://www.elcic.ca and click on 'Donate Now.'
In a statement made yesterday, it was announced that the Government of Canada is establishing a fund to match all public donations earmarked for earthquake relief to registered Canadian charities over the next two weeks. International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll stated, "We will use this fund to support qualifying projects from Canadian NGOs."
The earthquake was centered in the mountains of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, near the Indian border, about 95 km (60 miles) northeast of Islamabad. United Nations (UN) officials predict that the death toll will surpass 35,000, including 15,000 young people; 30,000 are confirmed dead. The UN has raised its initial estimate of the number of people made homeless from 2.5 million to four million. The quake also damaged sanitation systems, destroyed hospitals and left many victims with no access to clean drinking water, making them vulnerable to disease, including cholera.
Designated funds received by GHDA will be sent on to Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR). CLWR will respond mainly through Action by Churches Together (ACT), a global alliance of churches and related agencies, including the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), working to save lives and support communities in emergencies worldwide. Church World Service (CWS), which has maintained relief and development operations in Pakistan for more than 25 years, is coordinating ACT's activities in the area. Initial CWS relief plans include providing emergency food packages for those most affected. Long-term efforts will focus on assisting 10,000 families with food and emergency shelter.
The GHDA Disaster Response Fund has allowed for a quick, initial response; $5,000 has already been authorized for the Pakistan / India Earthquake relief efforts. Thanks to an anonymous gift in 2000, GHDA established the Disaster Response Fund which allows GHDA to allocate funds immediately when an emergency occurs and then replenish the fund with donations which are contributed through church-wide appeals.
Donations can be made:
- Online at http://www.elcic.ca/ghda/index.html
- By mail to GHDA at 302-383 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6
- Through your congregation
Please ensure that you mark your cheque: GHDA: Pakistan / India Earthquake Appeal. A tax receipt will be issued.
When you donate through GHDA, 100% of your gift will be used as you designate, unless you donate online, in which case CanadaHelpsreceives 3% of each gift, to cover their administration costs.
Please keep in your prayers those who are suffering loss, those who now find themselves homeless, and those who are grieving.