Flooding in Cambodia. Credit: CWS

Since July, heavy rains and four tropical storms have hammered Southeast Asia, affecting the entire region with flooding and landslides. In the two hardest hit countries, Cambodia and Thailand, it is estimated that one-third of each country is underwater. Recent reports put the number of dead at over 1,000, with over 75% of those lost coming from Thailand (533 deaths) and Cambodia (250 deaths). With the rains continuing to come the crisis grows as more areas become inaccessible while simultaneously increasing the number of those in need. An example is the city of Bangkok, with a population of 12 million, being threatened with complete submersion.

On November 2, the ELCA commited $150,000 to the relief efforts being coordinated by Church World Services (CWS) in Thailand ($50,000) and Cambodia ($100,000). In Thailand they are working with our companion, the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT) and in Cambodia they are working with our partner, Life with Dignity (LWD). These efforts will address immediate needs such as supplying emergency food, water and hygeine kits. It will also involve the rebuilding of destroyed homes and the restoring of lost livelihoods.

As this disaster continues to develop and relief efforts move from disaster response to disaster recovery, the ELCA will continue to walk with our companions. Please check back here to learn about these efforts and continue to keep the people of the region in prayer.

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