PDA director Kraus named to ACT Alliance governing board

Partnership speeds work in countries struck by catastrophe, human suffering

by Scott O’Neill | Presbyterian News Service

Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus is director for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

LOUISVILLE — Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, director for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, was elected to the ACT Alliance (ACT) Governing Board recently.

ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance is a coalition of 150 churches and faith-based organizations working in more than 125 countries on advocacy, development, and humanitarian response issues worldwide. Kraus will serve on the Governing Board in her current tenure until 2022.

“I am grateful for being elected to ACT’s Governing Board. ACT members come together to fund and implement disaster response and development projects, and to amplify voices crying out for justice,” said Kraus.

A large amount of PDA’s international disaster work, which in 2017-18 includes Super Typhoon Mangkhut and the Indonesia earthquake and tsunami, is implemented through ACT. Long-term PDA partnerships with ACT that are ongoing include work in Malawi, the Philippines, and Nepal. By partnering with ACT, PDA can work quicker and more efficiently in areas devastated by catastrophe and human suffering. Additionally, partnering and working together with ACT and its worldwide members allows for relief work to be implemented on a shared cost basis.

“Among the advocacy pillars affirmed by ACT are climate change, migration, poverty and gender justice — global concerns which intersect continually with the humanitarian disaster responses in which PDA is active, and align strongly with PC(USA) priorities,” said Kraus.

Kraus noted ACT is committed to honoring the communities’ agency that is closest to the work being supported, which helps global north faith communities like PDA to check its privilege and support local agencies.

“The membership of the new ACT Governing Board is for the first time in its 10-year history made up of 50 percent of members from the global south,” she said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with such a diverse leadership community and learn from my colleagues.”

The ACT Governing Board is responsible for governance between ACT General Assemblies.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is the emergency response and refugee program of the denomination, committed to the long-term journey of recovery of communities adversely affected by a crisis or catastrophic event. It is funded by One Great Hour of Sharing and has designated funds for responding to specific disasters.

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