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May 8, 2008

GHDA Issues Appeal to Assist with Relief Efforts in Burma; Forwards $10,000 to Assist With Immediate Efforts

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)'s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) is accepting donations to support relief efforts in the storm-ravaged areas of the low-lying Irrawaddy Delta in Burma (also known as Myanmar) following Tropical Cyclone Nargis on May 2-3. To assist with the immediate needs in the affected area, $10,000 from the GHDA Disaster Relief Fund has been forwarded to Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), a partner of GHDA, which will be passed on to those in most critical need through Action by Churches Together (ACT) International.

While news reports from the region vary and assessment of the devastation continues, it is estimated that the cyclone has killed tens of thousands of people and left up to one million homeless. ACT reports that Cyclone Nargis, the worst Asian cyclone since 1991, hit Myanmar triggering a storm surge and flooding in the five worst hit states, where more than half of Myanmar's 53 million people live. Almost 5,000 square kilometres are under water in low-lying areas. Priority needs are for water purification tablets, plastic sheeting, basic medical kits, bed nets and food.

Now is the time for us to act, says the Rev. Paul Johnson, GHDA coordinator. We are a church In Mission for Others, a people called to respond to our Lord's invitation to help the least of God's children, those most in need of what we have in abundance. Your gift can make a huge difference.

To support relief efforts in Burma, donations can be made to GHDA - Burma Appeal as follows:

- Via the ELCIC Website: www.elcic.ca (click on the Donate Now link)
- By mail: GHDA, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6 (please indicate GHDA - Burma Appeal in the memo portion of the cheque)
- Through all ELCIC Congregations

GHDA's Emergency Disaster Response Fund, established thanks to an anonymous gift, allows GHDA to allocate funds immediately when an emergency occurs and then replenish the Fund with donations to the church-wide appeal.

Further information about the work of ELCIC's Global Hunger and Development Appeal can be viewed online at www.elcic.ca/ghda

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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