Christian aid organization rushing to help after mass flooding displaces 150,000 people
CALGARY, Jan. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse has sent an emergency response team to Mozambique, where torrential rainfall is causing severe flooding that has killed 40 people and forced 150,000 so far to flee for their lives.
The Christian relief and development organization's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has been deployed to the coastal nation to assist Samaritan's Purse staff already serving there.
As rains pummel southeast Africa, and water levels on eight major rivers have reached crisis levels, thousands more Mozambique children and adults every day are being forced to run to higher ground. Xai Xai, capital city of the Gaza province and the worst-hit area of Mozambique, is expected to be swamped soon by flood waters as high as eight meters.
Nathan Glancy, Mozambique Country Director for Samaritan's Purse, took a helicopter flight over the affected areas and reported he was "overwhelmed by the extent of the flooding."
Tens of thousands of people have lost not only their homes but their livelihoods. Aid cannot come quickly enough. Displaced people are seeking refuge under trees or on road sides because relief camps are stretched beyond capacity. Food is scarce and some people are eating grasshoppers to survive.
Samaritan's Purse is assisting 16,000 people in two camps by providing clean water, latrines, blankets, and tarps to build shelters. Samaritan's Purse is also determining how it can help in a third camp that is accessible only by boat or air, and working with the United Nations' World Food Program to determine how food can be distributed.
"We have provided help in the past in response to the devastating power of water during tsunamis and floods in many countries," says Fred Weiss, Executive Director of Samaritan's Purse Canada. "There are 150,000 people in Mozambique that need help right now. We are asking Canadians to assist us in this very urgent relief effort."
To support this urgent relief and recovery work, call 1-800-663-6500 or visit www.samaritanspurse.ca.
About Samaritan's Purse Canada
Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 45 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The Calgary-based charity also operates the well-known Operation Christmas Child program that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world each year. Our water initiatives raise funds for life-saving BioSand Water Filters throughout the developing world. Go to www.samaritanspurse.ca for more information.
SOURCE: Samaritan's Purse Canada
For further information:
Jeff Adams, Communications Director
Samaritan's Purse Canada
1.800.663.6500 (ext.8723) or 403.615-8747 (cell) - [email protected]