By Stan Friedman
CHICAGO, IL (April 21, 2011) – Recently released funds from Covenant World Relief continue to assist humanitarian efforts in Libya, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Japan.
Covenant partner Medical Teams International (MTI) is shipping its sixth emergency health kit with enough medicines and supplies to care for 10,000 people for three months –and four surgery kits – to save lives in western Libya. To contribute to the Covenant’s Libya Relief Fund, click here.
With this shipment, the agency has sent medicines and supplies valued at more than $2.18 million since fighting erupted in the country in February, says Marlene Minor, MTI vice president of communications.
At the request of the Red Crescent Society of Tunisia, the supplies will be distributed in Misrata. Heavy fighting there has taken a toll on civilians and hospitals have run out of supplies to treat those caught in the middle of the conflict.
“Misrata is the biggest concern right now,” said Jamal
Tarhuni, a representative for the North American Libyan Conference that partners with Medical Teams International. “At least 1,000 people have died. Another 25,000 are estimated to be injured.”
Volunteers on the ground are shipping injured people from Misrata to Benghazi, Libya, where they can be cared for by doctors and other health professionals on the scene.
Last month, Medical Teams International sent one team of doctors to Benghazi with supplies and is recruiting a second team of doctors to send during April or May to help relieve doctors on the scene.
Still, specialists are needed to help in Benghazi, which is serving as a medical base camp for surgeries. “The physicians and nurses there have been going nonstop since the fighting began and they are worn out,” says Minor.
Medical Teams is recruiting now for surgical teams that include an experienced orthopedic surgeon, two vascular surgeons, two plastic surgeons, and five to seven surgical nurses. Medical personnel interested in filling spots on these teams should email Debbie Bailey at or call her at 503-624-1000.
Ongoing military assistance from European nations is enabling the supplies to reach their intended destination and not be hijacked by the Libyan military, says Minor.
Although the former president who had refused to honor earlier election results has been captured and arrested, the humanitarian crisis remains. In Abijdan, a city of five million, nearly one million residents have been displaced because of violence and have limited access to food, water, electricity and medical care. Nearly 20,000 people have been displaced in the city of Duekou alone.
World Relief is partnering with local agencies such as MAP International to provide residents with hygiene kits, non-food items, and medical equipment.
Although widespread starvation in Kenya has been overshadowed by other news events throughout the world, severe drought has forced the roughly 340,000 people living in the northwest region of the country to slaughter much of their livestock. Dependent on their cattle, goats and camels for income, the loss of livestock is threatening their economic stability and making them more vulnerable to future disasters.
Covenant World Relief is responding with assistance from its general relief fund to the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya, which will distribute food and clothing. The church also plans to present training sessions to encourage local residents to develop economic alternatives.
Dave Husby, CWR director, currently is in Japan meeting with Covenant missionaries and ministry partners to plan for additional assistance to helping people recover from the earthquake and tsunami.