The Methodist Church has agreed a grant of £10,000 to assist urgent recovery work following last month's torrential flooding in Argentina.
The floods, which hit the cities of Buenos Aires and La Plata on 2 and 3 April, killed more than 50 people and left many homes inundated with up to two metres of water. Many thousands of families living in the poorest parts of both cities have been badly affected. The grant from the World Mission Fund has been sent to the Methodist Church in Argentina (IEMA), which has a strong presence in both cities.
IEMA Leader Bishop Frank de Nully Brown said: "The consequences of this disaster have affected the poorest families and those least able to help themselves. We thank God for the solidarity and the mutual love of our congregations that have allowed us to hold people who are in pain, despair and suffering, both the affected in our churches and our neighbours. This tragedy reminds us that we are vulnerable beyond our material securities. We continue to respond to the people living in the affected areas and those affected by the longer lasting trauma that it has produced."
IEMA's children's home in La Plata was severely affected by the floods. The home provides an extended social service to hundreds of families around it, and support for hundreds of street children whose lives have now been made more precarious by the floods.
The money from the World Mission Fund will be used to purchase furniture and equipment that has been lost and enable the immediate recovery of the services offered by the home.
"The Methodist Church in Britain and the Methodist Church in Argentina enjoy a quality relationship that enables us to speak to each other about our needs and our differences; that puts people first," added the Rev Thomas Quenet, World Church Partnership Coordinator. "In this case it was the initiative of the Methodist Church in Britain that suggested the request from the Church in Argentina. The people affected were the most vulnerable living in places they could not get away from. We were blessed to be able to respond urgently to the need."