Presbyterian Church in Canada expands work in East Africa and undertakes over $1.1 million in emergency relief programming

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2011 /CNW/ - The Presbyterian Church in Canada's development and relief agency, Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D), is responding to the humanitarian crisis in East Africa with over $1.1 million in emergency relief programs. Severe drought has led to widespread food shortages, loss of livestock and skyrocketing food prices, causing chronic malnutrition and hunger for millions of people in East African countries.

PWS&D is supporting projects in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia that are providing food, water, shelter, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and livelihood recovery initiatives for those most affected. Barb Summers, PWS&D Communications Coordinator, visited the region in August: "It's amazing to see how these programs are helping people who are in urgent need for assistance. Food distributions are ensuring people don't have to sell off the few assets they have while longer-term work is teaching new agricultural skills so families won't be as vulnerable in the future."

PWS&D has recently expanded work into Tanzania, where severe drought has led to extensive crop failure. Working in partnership with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, PWS&D is providing nearly 9,000 of the most vulnerable people with corn, beans, cooking oil and salt until the next harvest season. Farmers are receiving drought-resistant seeds to restart their crops, as well as training in agriculture and climate change in order to reduce future susceptibility to drought.

PWS&D is working in East Africa in partnership with Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the international ACT Alliance. Contributions to PWS&D can be made through local Presbyterian churches or directly to The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 50 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M3C 1J7.

Presbyterian World Service & Development is the development and relief agency of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. For over 60 years, PWS&D has worked ecumenically and through local partners to conduct effective programs around the world, combating poverty for people of all faiths, cultures and religious backgrounds. www.presbyterian.ca/pwsd

SOURCE The Presbyterian Church in Canada

For further information:

Barb Summers, 647-298-5994, bsummers@presbyterian.ca

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