Browsing Category: Disaster Services

Convoy of Hope Provides Aid in South Sudan

“The journey was so hard,” 17-year-old Kenyi told the UN Refugee Agency regarding her harrowing journey from South Sudan to Uganda. “The sun was very hot, and we had trouble finding food and water. Our uncle decided to turn back, but we continued on because we wanted to go to school.”

Since 2011, tribal conflict has displaced millions of South Sudanese people, causing one of the largest refugee crises in the world. 

To date, an estimated 2 million people have been displaced inside South Sudan and another 2 million have crossed the border into Uganda, Ethiopia, or Sudan to find safety. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 83% of those displaced are women and children.

In recent months, effects of the pandemic, droughts, and locust infestations have added to food security concerns. 

With the help of our partners on the ground, Convoy of Hope is providing food parcels to displaced families. These food parcels help to provide food security and to stimulate the economy through local purchasing.

“The aim is to increase the resilience and health of vulnerable people and decrease the instability and stress that they face,” said Mackenzie Edwards of Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team. “When our partners in South Sudan heard the funding was coming through, they wept because they know how great the need is.”

With your help, Convoy can provide food and other resources for those who can’t find such things themselves. Thank you for your generosity.

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Disaster Services / Program Updates
Refugees from across Africa and the Middle East are fleeing violence and persecution. According to UNHCR, more than 11,000 refugees have sought help in Spain since the beginning of 2021. Refugees from across Africa and the Middle East are fleeing violence and persecution. According to UNHCR, more than 11,000 refugees have sought help in Spain since the beginning of 2021.

Convoy of Hope responds to refugee crisis in Spain

“Living here is hell, but it’s still better than living in my country,” said Amandi.

Amandi is one of more than 8,000 refugees who recently swam from Morocco to Ceuta, Spain. While the government works to address the refugee crisis, many displaced individuals are struggling to find food and shelter. Convoy of Hope recently hosted a distribution to help these people fighting to make it through another day.

“When the masses swam over, we were all together celebrating my father’s birthday,” Lorena, a local Convoy of Hope partner, said. “The celebration quickly ended to see the news of people swimming. The helicopters hovered, and police waited for those who arrived at shore. They didn’t ask questions and arrested people. Some, desperate, even took their lives right there on the shore. They’d rather die a gruesome death at their own hands than be deported.”

Some refugees, like Amandi, were attempting to escape persecution. Others were in search of jobs or a new life free from economic turmoil. Whatever the reason, the crisis has grown. Now, both the people of Ceuta and the refugees who sought shelter there struggle each day.

Originally, Amandi came from Nigeria where he was persecuted for his beliefs. He later made his way to Morocco, and from there, swam to bordering Spain. Some who swam with Amandi drowned before they made it to Spanish soil; many others suffered from severe hypothermia and required immediate medical attention when they arrived.

“I remember waking up in the hospital,” Amandi said. “I was fortunate to get housing, but I live in a small room with 10 others.” Thousands of other refugees in Ceuta have no shelter and live among the rocks near the seashore. Others have created makeshift shelters in cemeteries.

“Together, they care for each other and find ways to survive,” said Mark-Anthony Licea, a Convoy of Hope Europe team member.

One of the cemetery camps served as the site for Convoy of Hope’s most recent distribution event. People were provided with food, hygiene kits, and other necessities.

Some refugees have been searching for a better life for years. Others swam the frigid Mediterranean waters in recent weeks. Regardless, Ceuta is overrun. As refugees and government officials work to resolve this crisis, Convoy of Hope will continue to provide.

Thank you for providing hope to those in desperate need during this crisis. You are helping to shape their futures.

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Disaster Services

Convoy of Hope responds to flooding & landslides in Sri Lanka

Convoy of Hope is currently responding to severe storms in Sri Lanka. Heavy rainfall has triggered widespread flooding and deadly mudslides. According to the government’s Disaster Management Center, the storms have affected at least 245,000 people and displaced more than 5,000. At least 14 fatalities have occurred to date.

Many locals relied on the now-flooded land to grow crops. With produce and income in short supply, food security is now a concern for many farmers and all who relied on them.

Working with local partners, Convoy of Hope is distributing food and other essentials to affected people. 

To support Convoy of Hope as we respond to this disaster, click here.

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Disaster Services

Against Odds, Tornadoes Claim Zero Lives In May

“La Nina could supercharge this year’s tornado season, just like it did to deadly effect in 2011,” a harrowing CNN headline from April said. Although La Nina has had a large impact on tornadic weather this year, the month of May ended with more optimistic news. Throughout the entire month of May, tornadoes caused zero fatalities in the United States.

Each year, tornadoes kill an average of 71 Americans. In the U.S., storms produce approximately 1,200 tornadoes a year, and on average, 281 of those occur within the month of May — making it the most active month of the year. Preliminary reports suggest that 289 tornadoes formed in the month of May this year, but none of them proved fatal.

“Last month was a rarity in the weather world,” Weather Channel meteorologist Orelon Sidney said. “If we look at every May going back to 1950, only 15% of them were free of fatalities.”

Unfortunately, although tornadoes did not claim any lives in the month of May, severe weather did. With or without tornadic activity, the strongest of the storms that occur in spring months have still proven themselves deadly. As seasons shift, experts still urge those who live in storm-prone areas to remain prepared for the possibility of severe weather.

“Even though spring was relatively quiet in terms of major tornado outbreaks, it is important not to let your guard down in terms of preparedness because tornadoes can happen at any time of the year,” said Stacy Lamb of Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team.

To learn more about how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during storm season, click here.

Throughout storm season — and year round — Convoy of Hope stays prepared to respond in the event of a disaster. With your help, we can provide hope in every storm. To support our disaster response team, click here.

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Disaster Services

New ways to stay safe this hurricane season

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than usual. They are expecting 13-20 named storms and 6-10 hurricanes, approximately half of which may be major hurricanes.

Recent research suggests a new focus for hurricane safety this year. A look at last year’s hurricane season showed that, while preparing for this year’s hurricane season, residents of coastal areas should plan for indirect threats in addition to the immediate dangers hurricanes present.

For years, storm surge has been regarded as the most deadly of the threats that hurricanes pose. Hurricane Laura brought a record-breaking 17-foot storm surge when it made landfall in August 2020. However, nearly all fatalities occurred after the storm passed. At least half were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from improper generator use.

“It appears that most of the deaths are going to be indirect,” said Ed Rappaport, Deputy Director of the National Hurricane Center. “Most of the deaths appear to be … associated with the aftermath of the storm, the recovery period, and long times without power.”

Hurricane Laura caused severe damage to Louisiana’s electric grid, leaving many without power for weeks at a time. This proved to be Laura’s deadliest trait. Experts urge people in coastal areas to prepare for the effects both during and after a storm. Long periods without power may be unavoidable after a hurricane makes landfall.

Convoy of Hope has created a family preparedness plan, which can be found here. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has started a campaign to help stop carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, the National Weather Service has numerous resources to provide hurricane safety information.

“Last year was a record season,” Deanne Criswell of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. “We don’t know what this season is going to be, but it just takes one storm.”

Throughout this hurricane season, Convoy of Hope suggests you stay informed and prepared to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. To donate to Convoy’s Disaster Services initiative as we continue to respond in times of disaster, click here.

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Disaster Services