Lutheran Disaster Response

Our response to disasters in the U.S. and around the world; look for sections of this blog related to specific disaster locations. Comments are welcomed and moderated.

Libya: Tunisians Lend a Helping Hand…and Car…and Bottle of Water

Posted on April 11, 2011 by Matthew Ley

Refugees at Sousha refugee camp getting water.

Who is paying [for all these supplies].

“We’re paying, of course. And our friends and family back home.”

“How long will you continue?”

“For as long as the money lasts.”

This is an exceprt from a conversation with Aomed Aowel, an ordinary Tunisian who left his home in the capital city of Tunis to drive (if my estimates are correct) around 7 hours to bring food and water to refugees crossing the border from Libya. And as the days have progressed he, his friends and others Tunisians they have recruited, have been bringing supplies of food and water to help meet the basic needs of people coming into Sousha camp.

“We’re not heroes. We’re just helping our brothers.” This is the response he gives to what they are doing. Heroes or not they are helping to do God’s work and for that we give thanks.

To read more about Aomed’s story as well as the work being done by the ACT Alliance read their update Solidarity without borders.

Gifts to ELCA International Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.

Libya: ACT Team Prepares for the Worst

Posted on March 10, 2011 by Matthew Ley

ACT team setting up camps on Libya-Tunisia border. Photo: ACT/Church of Sweden/Sarah Harrison

A team comprised of staff from ACT member organisations Norwegian Church Aid, FinnChurchAid, the Lutheran World Federation and the Church of Sweden, has been working at full capacity on the Libyan-Tunisian border to assess and prepare for the possible humanitarian fallout of the situation in Libya. They are currently stationed at Sousha Refugee camp, located on the Tunisian side of the border. This camp has a current population of around 15,000 and is well maintained but the fear is that with unconfirmed reports of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands living in camps on the Libyan side of the border camps like this could be overrun if a violence in Libya continues.

In preparation for the worst the staff and the camp are attempting to expand the camp’s facilities for the potential new refugees. The hope is that with these expanded resources the camp could hopefully take in up to 100,000 refugees.

As the situation and the violence continues to worsen the ACT team will continue to assess what type of response or appeal should to enacted to meet the needs of those in need. Please keep these people, their work and those who they work on behalf of in your prayers. May God’s charitable and ever-giving spirit be amongst them in their times of need.

Read the full report.

Gifts to ELCA International Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.

Libya: Religions for Peace Releases Statement Calling for Violence to Stop

Posted on March 10, 2011 by Matthew Ley

On February 24 Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General for Religions for Peace*, released a statement calling for the violence in Libya to stop. The statement calls on the government of Libya to cease in attacking its own citizens and for the members of the Libyan army to disobey orders to attack their fellow country men and women with warplanes. Also called for members of the international community to take responsible and legal action to ensure the full rights and safety of the Libyan people.

Read the full statment.

* Tracing it’s roots back to 1961, Religions for Peace is the largest international coalition of representatives from the world’s great religions dedicated to promoting peace. It maintains the goal of respecting religious differences while celebrating our common humanity and is active on every continent and in some of the most troubled areas of the world, creating multi-religious partnerships to confront our most dire issues: stopping war, ending poverty, and protecting the earth.

Gifts to ELCA International Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.