After armed Seleka rebels overthrew the government in 2013, the Central African Republic (CAR) – already one of the world’s poorest nations - devolved into a scene of chaos and terror. Marauding bands of Seleka and anti-balaka soldiers swept across the country massacring innocent civilians, pillaging, and destroying homes. Nearly one million people, half of them from the capital of Bangui, fled to overcrowded refugee camps lacking clean water and adequate sanitation facilities. As the rainy season began, refugees found themselves exposed to turbulent weather - dangerous gusts of wind and heavy downpours. To make matters worse, overflowing latrines, puddles of dirty water, and piles of trash fostered the ideal setting for an outbreak of malaria and typhoid fever.
Despite the dire situation, all hope is not lost. There continues to be an opportunity to positively influence the course of action in CAR. And that’s where you come in.
Thanks to your support, Mercy Corps has launched an emergency response to assist and protect those impacted by the conflict. Immediately after the coup, Mercy Corps refocused existing programs in CAR to prioritize urgent needs, with an emphasis on providing safe spaces for children, preventing gender-based violence, and raising awareness about hygiene. At the most populous refugee camp, Mercy Corps is overseeing the construction of 100 latrines and draining channels for stagnant water. In the coming weeks, Mercy Corps plans to distribute clean water and soap to 25,000 people, as well as continue to educate refugees about good hygiene practice. Finally, Mercy Corps continues to prioritize work around gender-based violence and listening centers remain open to provide emotional support, legal counseling and medical referrals to those who have suffered gender-based violence or sectarian attacks.
Saving and Improving Lives in the World’s Toughest Places: When you donate to Mercy Corps, you make it possible to deliver emergency food and supplies, and help families and communities become more resilient to crises long-term. In CAR, your donation helps protect vulnerable survivors, meet their basic needs for water and food, and provides the nation’s residents with hope that, one day, they can live in comfort and safety.
Change is not possible without you. Thank you for being a partner in this life-changing work.
You can continue to make a difference by:
Ayesha’s husband died 10 years ago. As a widow and mother of nine, Ayesha struggled to provide for her family. “After my husband’s death I didn’t see any hope for the future because I was alone and carrying the responsibility of the children,” she told us.
Ayesha, her son and eight daughters live in a two-room home in the highlands of southwestern Yemen. When we met Ayesha, poverty was rampant in her village, and job opportunities were few.
She earned a small amount by selling firewood she collected during twice-daily trips to the valley, but it was not enough to feed her family. Five of Ayesha’s children had to drop out of school; they scavenged for firewood, peppers — anything they could sell for a small income. Still, at times, the family went hungry.
Families in Crisis: Their story is all too common. More than 40% of Yemen’s population is food insecure — that’s 10.5 million people who don’t have enough food.
Political instability, endemic poverty and high unemployment are just a few reasons Yemen is one of the hungriest countries in the world. Continued tensions are putting the population on the brink of an emergency situation.
Help Families Thrive: When you donate to Mercy Corps you make it possible to deliver emergency food and supplies, and help families and communities become more resilient to crises long-term.
In Yemen, compassionate supporters like you are helping people like Ayesha fight poverty. “Now that Mercy Corps has helped me I don’t feel that feeling of insecurity,” she explained. “I try to work, but if there is a gap, Mercy Corps helps.” You made this happen by providing food, clean water, education, infrastructure, jobs and training.
You also help youth develop job skills or attend school. “The most important thing to me is education,” Naserah, (Ayesha's daughter) told us. Because of you, Ayesha's children have returned to school.
But so many families are still hungry. And so many kids are deprived of the opportunity to learn, which threatens the future of these regions. We have the chance to help them. Will you donate today to help another family in need?
When you donate $30, you'll receive a free thank you gift: a beautiful, handcrafted frame (frames are limited!). Here are examples of how your gift can make a difference for families:
Change is not possible without you. Thank you for being a partner in this life-changing work.
PS: If you would like to receive a free frame with your gift, click this link. Or, if you visit the main project page, be sure to click "Add to Cart" under the "Gifts for Good" section to get your frame.
Long-term disputes between South Sudan and Sudan, as well as internal political issues, led to an eruption of violent conflict in South Sudan’s capital of Juba in December 2013. The humanitarian crisis has quickly spread into neighboring areas forcing nearly half a million people to flee from their homes. As the conflict escalates, displacement camps are becoming overcrowded and people’s needs for clean water, food, health care, sanitation, shelter, and protection are increasing.
But your donation is bringing hope and saving lives during this conflict. Nianey, 32, was among those who bravely escaped the violence with her five children. She is thankful for your assistance and told a Mercy Corps staff member: "I'm not sad, because I'm safe now."
Despite facing threats and looting, Mercy Corps teams and partners have been able to provide emergency aid and relief to thousands of people affected by this heartbreaking conflict. Your donation is being used to distribute survival kits with essential items, such as blankets, a sleeping mat, soap, cooking tools, water, a mosquito net, and clothing.
Mary, 27, also fled the violence in Juba with her baby. She tells us that "the pack given by Mercy Corps will help my family every day. My baby is a few days old, and he'll be able to sleep on the blanket instead of the ground." Thank you for making it possible to provide more than 8,600 kits, bringing lifesaving assistance to more than 22,000 people, like Mary and Nianey.
2013 - What a year it has been!
Together we saved and improved 19 million lives in some of the world’s toughest places.
Like other years, 2013 held daunting global challenges — war in Syria, devastating natural disasters in the Philippines and China, hunger in West Africa. But your belief in a better world makes profound change happen each day, one person at a time.
As we close 2013, it’s important to recognize how much progress you’ve made to help families move beyond crisis. Even more can be done in the new year with you standing by us.
Because of you:
These are just some of your accomplishments.
And it is not too late to make a difference in 2013. You can still save and improve the lives of families in some of the world's toughest places with your end of year contribution. You help families move beyond the crisis they confront and empower them to begin rebuilding their lives and homes while resurrecting their communities.
On behalf of the millions of lives you’ve touched this year - thank you for turning your compassion into action!
"We are relying on the kind people who have given food to us on the island. Without these donations we would have nothing to eat. Thank you for coming to us… We are just trying to survive here."
—Hani Pinton, mother of two
On remote Kinatarcan Island, devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, families had been waiting days for help to arrive. In the aftermath of the historic storm, there's no potable water, no electricity, and 75% of homes are critically damaged or completely destroyed. But because of your past support to this project, Mercy Corps was able to mobilize quickly and our emergency response team was the first to reach this isolated island. Your generosity made it possible for us to distribute essential food packages to residents in the fishing village of Barangay Langub. Because of you, mothers of newborn babies were given towels and blankets. Because of you, children now have safe water to drink.
See firsthand how your donation is making a difference for thousands of Typhoon Haiyan survivors in this short video.Watch your thank you video!
Mercy Corps' team of seasoned emergency responders is focused on identifying gaps in assistance and reaching survivors in remote locations who have yet to receive critical help. While we address the immediate humanitarian needs, we are also working to help families begin rebuilding for the long term. None of this would be possible without your generous support. On behalf of families in the Philippines and around the world, thank you for being there.
If you'd like donate directly to our GlobalGiving Philippines project page or learn more about our progress with improving lives, click here. Sincerely, Dan O’NeillMercy Corps Founder
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