Egypt relief focuses on struggling families

Baptist Press
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Posted: Mar 30, 2011 4:30 PM
Egypt relief focuses on struggling families
CAIRO (BP)--Turmoil in Egypt that began Jan. 25 has left thousands of families struggling to make ends meet, and Southern Baptists are responding to the need through their World Hunger Fund.

Working with humanitarian partners in Egypt, food, clothing and medicine are being distributed to families struck particularly hard by the soaring cost of provisions. Small business loans also are being offered to Egyptians facing job loss or having trouble staying afloat in a floundering tourism industry and suffering economy.

"The Middle East has experienced what has been described as a political earthquake that has shattered people's lives, and that 'earthquake' has affected Egyptians in ways that are difficult to deal with," said Abraham Shepherd, who with his wife Grace directs work in the Middle East for Baptist Global Response, an international relief and development organization.

The project, which focuses on both immediate and long-term needs, is being funded with $200,000 from the World Hunger Fund. About 150 households in 23 Egyptian communities -- more than 20,000 people in all -- will be touched by the immediate-need gifts. The food parcels distributed also will strengthen local economies, as all supplies will be purchased in-country.

BGR partners in Egypt will provide ongoing counseling and guidance to those receiving business loans.

"Please pray that through the physical hunger and significant personal loss that many Egyptians are feeling their hearts will be turned to the One that can satisfy their deepest needs," Shepherd said. "Pray that many lives will be changed by this act of love."

Mark Kelly is senior writer and assistant editor for Baptist Press. Baptist Global Response is on the Web at www.gobgr.org.

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