Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
responding to the Morocco earthquake
Morocco has long been a global crossroads, an active locale for people coming and going across Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. On September 8th a 6.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the cities of Marrakech and Agadir, among others in the region.
The Protestant Church in Morocco (known by its French acronym EEAM: Eglise Evangélique au Maroc) - a Week of Compassion collaborator through Global Ministries - has long-standing ministry in the affected regions, dedicated to the care and support of migrant and refugee populations. As this already-active hub is even further affected by the earthquake and its aftermath, immediate needs and long-term response plans are critical, and increasing, for thousands of people in need of resources, opportunities, and care.
With funds from Week of Compassion, EEAM’s current effort addresses urgent humanitarian needs (food aid, medical aid, clothing and blankets, shelter, hygiene), and provides development aid toward reconstruction efforts as well as scholarship and financial assistance for resettlement.
Week of Compassion continues in prayer, service, and grateful thanksgiving for the many ways response and recovery happens.
World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance visit Türkiye
A delegation from the World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance visited Türkiye last week at the invitation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, expressing solidarity and support for churches on the ground responding to grave needs in the wake of the February 6 earthquake.
“The WCC and ACT Alliance’s presence in these particular places indicate that we care, we are concerned about what has taken place, and we want to find out how we can best continue to be of assistance,” said WCC General Secretary, Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay. “It was important for us to do this together.” The timing was especially significant as the delegation visited during the western Christian church’s Holy Week.
Week of Compassion, through ACT Alliance partnerships, is part of the relief and response in Türkiye and Syria.
a letter and update from the Executive Director
All of us continue to pray for the people in Turkey and Syria as we hear and watch the impact of the 7.8 earthquake that has devastated so many lives. The death toll numbers continue to rise daily - as of this writing, over 22,000 - and this number is expected to rise with each day. Like many of you this week, my heart has been aching for the people in Syria and Turkey as thousands of families are searching for their loved ones. The winter cold continues to make the recovery efforts even more difficult.
“A crisis within a crisis” is how many of our partners on the ground are describing the devastating earthquake.
supporting partners in earthquake response
Early Monday morning, February 6, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria. At least 78 aftershocks have been reported, and a second earthquake nearly as large (7.5) rocked central Turkey not long after. Early analysis shows that the quake was not only quite strong, but also very shallow, which is often more damaging than deeper ones.
Week of Compassion is in close contact with our partners in the region, including colleagues who were coincidentally traveling in the affected area.
On Saturday morning, August 14, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the south of Haiti. The earthquake was also felt in other Caribbean islands. This earthquake was stronger than the 2010 quake that devastated the nation's capital of Port-au-Prince, and news outlets are reporting nearly 1300 lives lost so far.
Although it is too early to know the full impact of the destruction, casualties, and loss of livelihoods, initial reports from Week of Compassion partners indicate that the impact has been devastating and that hospitals are overwhelmed. Thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed. Communication channels have been affected, as well as infrastructure including roads, which will affect immediate response and create challenges in getting help to those in need.
In Australia, high temperatures and drought conditions are contributing to one of the worst fire seasons in living memory. Since September, these fires have burned across 28 million acres, killing at least 28 people and an estimated 480 million animals. Meanwhile, thousands of people have been displaced as the fire danger inches closer to their homes. The heartbreaking news footage offers just a glimpse of the widespread destruction, and Disciples are wondering how to help.
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