The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has added $80,000 in humanitarian assistance to its July 2013 relief commitment of $150,000 to support those affected by the drought conditions in the Republic of Namibia. The funds will be disbursed by Lutheran Disaster Response International to The Lutheran World Federation and will be implemented in close cooperation with the ELCA’s companion churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia. The Lutheran World Federation’s department of world service is working with member churches through the United Church Council of Namibia.
“Namibia is one of the most drought and climate sensitive countries in the world,” said Vitaly Vorona, ELCA program director for Lutheran Disaster Response International. “Currently, this country is struggling with the worst drought in 30 years. The new harvest is expected around June 2014. Now it is a crucial transitional period for the Namibian people from March to May to cope with this drought.”
According to a 2013 report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 778,504 people are still at risk of food insecurity and 169,000 children are at risk of malnutrition.
The ELCA funds will be used for cash grants in four of the hardest hit communities in Namibia. According to Vorona, “The cash grants will help 4,860 vulnerable selected beneficiaries to cover their basic food security needs during this acute transitional period between March and June.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia will help implement food security projects in various regions of Namibia.
“While Lutheran Disaster Response initially responded with $150,000 in July 2013, sometimes it is not enough. Thankfully, we can count on the ELCA to roll up its sleeves, again, as we are asked to continue to respond to this disaster,” said Carl Stecker, ELCA director for Diakonia.
Lutheran Disaster Response provides assistance to survivors of natural disasters and humanitarian crises throughout the world. This support is carried out, both domestically and internationally, in coordination with local affiliates -- social ministry organizations, agencies, partners and international companion churches -- in the disaster-affected communities.The ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia are members of The Lutheran World Federation, a global communion of 143 member churches in 79 countries worldwide.