Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has launched a disaster appeal in response to the catastrophic flooding in Libya. The floods, which were triggered by a Mediterranean storm, were focused on the city of Derna where almost 4,000 people are known to have died and over 9,000 are missing after torrents of rain and debris swept away entire districts.
Some 37,000 people in flood-affected areas have been displaced by the storm. The huge number displaced highlights the immediate humanitarian need for survivors now (facing needs of clean water, food, shelter, utensils and clothing), and into the coming months and years (rebuilding, reuniting, finding a safe place to call home).
Support on the ground
This disaster has hit a country that already had a very complicated political situation, with power struggles leading to two opposing governments within Libya, and this has compounded the challenge of getting aid and support into the country.
The Bishops’ Appeal will be channelling all funds through Christian Aid who are working with Dan Church Aid (DCA), its ACT Alliance partner, who have had an established presence in Libya since 2011, providing a confidence that those on the ground have a clear understanding of the situation and how money raised in our parishes can be used most effectively. We are grateful for the confidence that this gives us that all money raised will be used to benefit those in greatest need.
DCA is providing medical support, helping to establish shelters to host homeless families, and distributing basic items such as blankets and bedding, sanitation and hygiene items and other essentials to these people who have lost everything.
Endorsement from Archbishops
Calling for support for the appeal, Archbishop John McDowell remarked: “I wish to thank those involved in Bishops’ Appeal for their prompt reaction in making this provision and would encourage the members of the Church of Ireland to continue to give generously.”
Archbishop Michael Jackson added: “The plight of children, women and men in Libya is unthinkable. It is also a reality. Members of the Church of Ireland working through Bishops’ Appeal have always been generous in responding to devastation and need. I encourage you to pray for and to contribute to this appeal.”
How you can help
The Bishops’ Appeal has already released £10,000 in Emergency Aid from its reserves (currently equivalent to €11,500), and all monies raised by this appeal across the Church of Ireland will be additional funds to help with the disaster relief.
Parishes are asked to collect funds for this appeal for the next few weeks, and send all donations directly to Bishops’ Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Rathmines, Dublin 6, D07 CF67.
The Bishops’ Appeal is registered as a charity in Northern Ireland (101325) and in the Republic of Ireland (20019068), and those wishing to give with additional Gift Aid, or Tax Relief on gifts over €250, will find the relevant information – along with an option to give online – at this link: https://bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give
For further information about Dan Church Aid, please visit www.danchurchaid.org. The ACT Alliance is a network of 146 church-based member organisations working in long-term development, advocacy and humanitarian assistance in 127 countries around the world. Readers can find out more about its website: www.actalliance.org