Update on ERD's Response After South Asia Earthquake

October 14, 2005

Episcopal Relief and Development’s partnerships with the Church of Pakistan and Church World Service are reaching more people affected by the earthquake on October 8. At least 33,000 people were killed in Pakistan and India and approximately 2.5 million people are homeless.

“The Peshawar Diocesan Mission Hospital Medical team has departed Peshawar to set up expanded medical care and a distribution point at the Church Hospital in Gari Habibullah village,” said Kirsten Laursen, ERD’s Senior Program Director of Asia and New Initiatives. “The Diocese of Peshawar is responding in the devastated Northwest Frontier Province. The hospital will be the base camp of all rescue and relief work of the Church,” said Laursen.

ERD’s partnership with the Diocese of Peshawar is helping the team, which includes doctors and paramedical staff, provide medicine and food supplies in Gari Habibullah, where needs are great and few organizations have responded. The diocese’s youth department has sent its first rescue team of eight youth members to Gari Habibullah and Balakot, taking some medicines, tents, clothes, water, and food supplies. Diocesan assessment teams are working to identify at least four areas which will be long-term response points for the Church. ERD’s ecumenical partner, Church World Service, is also providing support to the assessment teams.

“In Abbottabad, St. Luke’s Church is serving as a base to assess response needs throughout the diocese,” stated Laursen. “The church, located at the beginning of the historic Silk Road, is the end of accessible roads into the area.”

On Wednesday, October 12, the Rt. Rev. Mano Rumalshah, Bishop of Peshawar, led an interfaith service at the Cathedral for people affected by the earthquake.

Through ERD’s partnership with Church World Service, 6,000 families have received relief assistance such as food items and shelter kits. Supplies to set up medical camps are being organized to serve 100,000 people in affected areas with emergency medical care, including immunizations.

Please continue to pray for people affected by the South Asia earthquake.

To help people affected by disasters, make a donation to the Emergency Relief Fund at http://www.er-d.org/, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief and Development, Emergency Relief Fund, PO Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101.

Episcopal Relief and Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States. An independent 501(c) 3 organization, ERD saves lives and builds hope in communities around the world. We provide emergency assistance in times of crisis and rebuild after disasters. We enable people to climb out of poverty by offering long-term solutions in the areas of food security and health care, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.