Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) responded to flooding both nearby and far away, providing aid for relief in both Pakistan and central Iowa.
In Pakistan, as waters continued to flood new areas, CRWRC partnered with Interfaith League Against Poverty (I-LAP), establishing tent villages in Khyber Pakhtundkhwa for 500 families by the end of August. The goal is to similarly help 7,000 more families.
At a cost of $2.7 million, CRWRC is providing food, mosquito nets, hygiene kits, kitchen utensils, and stoves.
“CRWRC feels totally compelled to respond to this enormous crisis,” said Wayne de Jong, director of international disaster response. “This is an opportunity to show God’s love to people who are in extreme need—an opportunity to help thousands of families just like ours who now lack the basic necessities of life and are in urgent need of our assistance.”
CRWRC received more than $2 million for Pakistan relief, including funds from various Canadian organizations. Individual donors also added approximately $128,300.
Closer to home, CRWRC sent a DRS (disaster response) team to Colfax, Iowa, at the end of August. Heavy rains caused major flooding to the area, with an estimated 40 homes under six inches to four feet (15 cm to 1.2 m) of water, according to Don Vander Horn, DRS coordinator in Iowa. Corn and bean crops were also lost in a large area.
Volunteer groups from Christian Reformed churches in Prairie City and Ames, Iowa, assisted with the relief effort. “It is a unified effort and it is good to see,” said Vander Horn in August.
Art Opperwall, DRS program manager, said that small places like Colfax (about 2,000 residents) are aid targets. “It’s often little communities like this because they have little resources…or attention by the media,” he said. Opperwall said monies for the effort came from a relief fund marked for various storms.