British Methodists join Southern Africa flood relief effort

By staff writers
11 Feb 2008

As churches from around the world gear up to respond to the Southern Africa flood emergency, the Methodist Church in Britain is sending a solidarity grant of £30,000 to provide support for the victims of the disaster.

Contributions are also in process from members of the global Action of Churches Together (ACT) ecumenical network.

Flooding of the River Zambezi has destroyed homes, submerged crops and left thousands of people in Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in desperate need of help. Many have been made homeless and there are widespread outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and dysentery.

Children in affected areas are no longer able to receive education and more than 80% of crops have been washed away.

Kevin Fray, the Methodist's World Church Officer for Africa, explained: "Many are aware of the desperate levels of poverty and deprivation that already exist in this area of the world, and the flooding has only made this worse."

He added: "Those who already faced difficult circumstances in their day to day lives have seen their homes and livelihoods swept away. We hope that this grant goes some way toward alleviating their suffering."

The churches will use the money to provide shelter, food, clean water, clothing and other types of support for those whose lives have been devastated by the flooding.

The Methodist Church is one of the largest Christian churches in Britain, with nearly 300,000 members and regular contact with over 800,000 people. It has about 5,800 churches, and also maintains links with other Methodist churches totalling a worldwide membership of 70 million.

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