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Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responds to crises in South Sudan and Haiti


Solidarity grants will provide humanitarian aid following flooding and political unrest

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

woman carrying magenta shoulder bag and stack of packages on her head walking down a street in Haiti.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is providing humanitarian aid for people in Haiti, where there has been political turmoil recently. (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — Recent flooding in South Sudan and ongoing political unrest in Haiti have prompted the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to provide humanitarian aid to partner organizations in those countries to help individuals and families affected by the crises.

In South Sudan, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is working with the Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency (PRDA), an arm of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, to provide food and non-food items as well as assistance with shelter, said Dayna Oliver, PDA’s associate for international program administration.

“More than 800,000 people that have been affected by the flooding” in South Sudan, Oliver said.

The situation has been particularly bad in Pibor, where houses have been destroyed and crops have been washed away in heavy rain since July, according to correspondence from PRDA.

A solidarity grant from PDA is being sent to help ensure that impacted communities in the Pibor area have access to food and drinking water as well as other things, such as blankets and mosquito nets, she said.

Psychological and trauma healing sessions also are being organized to help those affected.

Sheku Sillah, PDA’s regional project manager for Asia and Africa, visited South Sudan recently to assess the situation and discuss options for getting supplies into affected areas. Although Pibor was not accessible at the time, he shared photos of the devastation, including houses submerged in floodwater, Oliver said.

The full extent of the damage won’t be known for a while.

“Once the waters recede, we plan to work with partners to assess the damage and develop a strategy for medium to long-term recovery support,” Oliver said.

Across the Atlantic, PDA is providing a solidarity grant to one of its partner organizations, FONDAMA, in Haiti to help address humanitarian needs amid political unrest.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets to demand the ouster of President Jovenel Moïse. The country also is dealing with financial turmoil, soaring food prices and crumbling health facilities, according to UN News.

A solidarity grant to FONDAMA will help provide items, such as rice, beans and sanitary kits, to help the people cope during a time of increasing strife, said Edwin González, PDA’s associate for disaster response for Latin America and the Caribbean and Refugee Ministries.

“Recently, we received communications from our partner, FONDAMA, about the need of responding to the emergency, or the political crisis, that is happening in Haiti, due to the blockage on the streets and the limited access to food, supermarkets, banks and many of the needed resources to survive,” González said.

You can support the PC(USA)’s work in Haiti with donations to Fund # DR000064, and the work in South Sudan through donations to Fund # DR000097.

Give to One Great Hour of Sharing to enable Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to respond quickly to catastrophic events.

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