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Aid Groups Focus on Liberia

August 09, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

As the arrival of West African peacekeeping forces and the first U.S. Marines marks a step toward ending two months of bloody conflict in Liberia's capital of Monrovia, Christian aid organizations are responding to reports of widespread starvation and disease in the city.

"We are heartened by the arrival of the first stabilization force and hope this will finally allow the safe flow of humanitarian aid in the country," John McCullough, executive director of Church World Service, said in a prepared statement.

The humanitarian agency is made up of 36 Protestant and Orthodox denominations.

Through partnerships with the Liberian Council of Churches and the YMCA of Liberia, Church World Service will ship and distribute 5,000 health kits, 20 tons of canned meat, 5,000 blankets and medical supplies to treat 10,000 people for three months.

Other Christian humanitarian agencies are also responding to the crisis.

Lutheran World Relief has sent 132 tons of aid in the form of blankets, medical supplies and clothing.

But larger supplies of food, water and blankets are still desperately needed, the agency said.

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