The official relief and development fund of the Episcopal (Anglican) Church USA is partnering with the Dioceses of Peshawar and Lahore in the Church of Pakistan to provide immediate assistance in the aftermath of the recent terrible earthquake, which has now officially claimed 38,000 lives.
Nearly 300 families in Azad Kashmir will receive food and shelter through Episcopal Relief and Development's assistance to the Diocese of Lahore. In the Diocese of Peshawar, ERD's funds will support the cost of five truckloads of supplies including items such as food, bedding, basic medicines, shelter materials, and clothing to be delivered to earthquake victims near Balakot and other affected areas.
The agency's partnership with the diocese is also helping the Church's Mission Hospital in Peshawar field four medical teams and establish a field hospital where ERD will help provide supplies such as bandages, rehydration solutions, cholera/dysentery therapy, and other materials.
A spokesperson said: 'Every small effort is vital in an emergency like this, and the best way is to work through local communities and churches who know the scene.' Both secular and faith-related agencies have been swift in responding to the quake tragedy.
ERD is already working with a US ecumenical partner, Church World Service, to provide medical care, shelters, and food to communities in Mansehra, Azad Kashmir, and the Northwest Frontier Province.
Meanwhile, flooding and mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan have devastated areas throughout Central America. There ERD is cooperating with the Diocese of Guatemala to provide immediate relief such as food, water, and plastic sheeting for temporary shelters in some of the hardest-hit communities.
The assistance will help people in areas such as Pixabaj in Solola, San Andres Ixtapa in Chimaltenango, and Casta Pastoral in Xela and Albergue. ERD and the diocese will also supply aid to people sheltered at the Episcopal Church of San Marcos in Quetzaltenango.
"Houses throughout the country are buried by mud and rocks, and many of the inhabitants have been killed," said The Rt Rev Armando Guerra, Bishop of Guatemala. "Communities have lost their entire crops," he added.
ERD is already partnering with the Anglican Diocese of El Salvador and Asociacion Mangle to supply emergency assistance to more than 40,000 displaced people in devastated communities throughout the country.
Donations to help people affected by natural disasters can be made online to Episcopal Relief and Development.