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Episcopal Relief & Development Assists Victims of Civil Conflict

Each year more than 12 million people are forced to flee their homes. Episcopal Relief & Development is working with church partners to respond to the needs of people in crisis, especially in the wake of recent surges of violence that have displaced thousands of people.

In Sri Lanka, the conflict between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has worsened. The UN reports that at least 230,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in the north of the country. The Anglican Diocese of Colombo has been overwhelmed by the number of people who are currently seeking shelter in church buildings. Episcopal Relief & Development has sent emergency funds to the Diocese of Colombo to provide clean water, food, shelter and emergency medical supplies to serve displaced people.

In the Philippines, the conflict between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government has displaced over 300,000 people and killed 170 civilians since the fighting began last August. Due to the recent ground hostility and military bombings, the villages of Sangay and Paril have been destroyed. At least 400 families from these villages have lost their homes, animals, farm land and all of their possessions. Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of the Southern Philippines to respond to the immediate needs of displaced people by supplying food, water and medicine and will continue to help the communities rebuild.

The ongoing terrorism of the rebel organization, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), has reached a new level of brutality in Sudan. The most recent LRA attacks have included murder, child abductions and torture. The fighting in southern Sudanese communities has destroyed villages and caused massive displacement. Episcopal Relief & Development will partner with Sudanese Development and Relief Agency to provide emergency assistance to victims of the violence and political unrest.

"In praying for peace, Episcopal Relief & Development stands in solidarity with our Anglican partners as they continue to respond to conflict needs in very difficult circumstances" said Nagulan Nesiah, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Program Associate, Asia.

"Lent is an ideal time for us to renew our commitment to our faith and each other," said Brian Sellers-Peterson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Director of Church Engagement Programs. "During this season of prayer and self-examination we hope that the Lenten Devotional will encourage Episcopalians to reflect on the role of God’s grace in our lives and how we may act as instruments of God's healing in a hurting world."

Please pray for those affected by civil unrest. To make a donation to Episcopal Relief & Development’s "Disaster Response Fund,"please visit us online at www.er-d.org, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief & Development, "MDG Inspiration Fund" PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States. As an independent 501(c) (3) organization, Episcopal Relief  & Development takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Together with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners, Episcopal Relief & Development strengthens communities today to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We rebuild after disasters and empower people by offering lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.



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