Lutheran Disaster Response provides relief for the displaced in South Sudan

2/12/2014 1:00:00 PM

            CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will provide $700,000 in humanitarian assistance to help support those affected by the violence in South Sudan. The funds will be disbursed through Lutheran Disaster Response-International to The Lutheran World Federation.

            The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that more than 860,000 people have been displaced as a result of the fighting that began in December between government forces and rebels.

            "It is a great sadness to see the fragile young democracy of South Sudan broken and lives of hundreds of thousands disrupted, fleeing their homes to find security," said Carl Stecker, ELCA director for diakonia. "We are thankful that The Lutheran World Federation is able to quickly respond to the needs of South Sudanese, not only in South Sudan, but also as they flee across the borders into the neighboring countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Chad."

            Operating through local partners, the ELCA will respond in the following areas:

  • In Ethiopia, $200,000 for potable drinking water and to improve sanitation and hygiene services.
  • In Kenya, $150,000 for immediate needs, including protection, for newly arrived refugees. 
  • In South Sudan, $130,000 for non-food item assistance for the internally displaced.
  • In Uganda, $120,000 to help manage the distribution of non-food items and increase work in water, sanitation and hygiene programs.
  • In Chad, $100,000 for newly arriving refugees in transit centers. More than 200,000 people have sought refuge in Chad, fleeing the violence in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

            "We are very happy to be here in safety in Uganda, and it is good that we can now get enough water. Before we were struggling," said Sara Tarakila, as reported Feb. 4 by Lutheran World Information, the news service of The Lutheran World Federation. "There was not enough water, but now things are improving here," Tarakila added, smiling.

             In January, Lutheran Disaster Response-International provided $10,000 in humanitarian assistance to the Episcopal Church of Sudan to help provide protection and life-saving essentials for the internally displaced.

            The Lutheran World Federation is a global communion of 143 member churches in 79 countries worldwide. The ELCA is the communion's only member church from the United States.

            Information about Lutheran Disaster Response is available at

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with almost 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

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