18 February 2005

MRDF Tsunami appeal passes £1 million

The Methodist Relief and Development Fund's Tsunami appeal has passed £1 million. The appeal was launched on 26 December 2004, and people's generosity has made it the biggest-ever response to a MRDF appeal. It is also the first time that a MRDF appeal has topped £1 million.

Kevin Fray, MRDF Supporter Relations Coordinator, offers "a big thank you to everyone who has responded so generously. The impact of this disaster will be felt for a long time, and The Methodist Church is committed to supporting the rebuilding effort for as long as necessary."

MRDF is working closely with the World Church Office to ensure that the money is spent effectively and wisely. Kevin Fray says "it is one thing to raise a lot of money, but quite another to make the most of this gift. So many people across the whole Methodist Connexion have been involved in this, from churches and circuits through to the Finance and World Church Offices. Everyone has done a superb job so that the money can go where it is needed with a minimum of fuss and delay."

MRDF is working with a number of partner agencies, primarily Action by Churches Together (ACT). ACT works in turn with a variety of church-based aid bodies that are operating across the region to bring aid and help people to rebuild their lives and businesses. Money given to MRDF has already gone to provide truckloads of food and water to remote communities; fishing nets and boat repairs to help fishermen start earning a living again; blankets, clothing and cooking equipment; house reconstruction; and trauma counselling.

Kevin Fray says that, despite the worldwide media attention the Tsunami attracted, neither MRDF nor its supporters have forgotten areas of need elsewhere. "In addition to the generous gifts to the Tsunami appeal, people have continued to give to our other appeals and general funds. We want to thank everyone who has given, especially those who have given to MRDF for the first time. Sadly, we live in a world where the help of MRDF and other agencies is greatly needed in many places, especially Africa, and there is never a shortage of good uses we can put donations to."

Prior to the Tsunami appeal, MRDF's most successful emergency appeals were for Sudan in 2004 and Southern Africa in 2002, but it is also supporting work following the Caribbean hurricane in 2004, and many other projects worldwide. "The £1 million given to the Tsunami appeal," says Kevin Fray, "was in addition to the general giving we have received so far in 2005, and we want to thank all who are supporting us. Your gifts are enabling people in Africa, in Latin America and of course in Asia to work their way out of poverty."

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