From August 29–31, three days of torrential rains and impact from Typhoon Lionrock caused floodwaters to suddenly rise inundating houses, causing landslides, and wiping away entire villages in multiple counties in the two most northeastern provinces of the DPRK. One hundred and thirty-eight deaths were reported and another 400 are missing (presumed dead). Nearly 70,000 people have lost their homes and all their belongings due to the flooding. Crops, days away from harvesting, were destroyed or heavily damaged in the fields, and railroads, bridges, and roads have been heavily damaged. Over 600,000 who live in the area are affected. Now relief/rebuilding efforts are in a race against time as October fast approaches, bringing with it snow and temperatures that regularly drop to -25C and below. The United Nations and other international agencies have been able to visit the region and have confirmed the significance of the damage and the urgency of the situation for those living there.
CFK responded quickly during our recent visit by releasing pre-positioned stocks of emergency relief goods including hygiene kits, water filters/buckets, food, blankets, and other materials that were in our warehouse in Pyongyang. These goods were to be delivered by local colleagues during the week of September 21st. We expect to confirm the distribution of these goods during a special flood-relief visit planned for late October.In the meantime, however, we are launching an emergency appeal to send long-term help for recovery to flood affected hepatitis and TB facilities. In the late 1990’s, CFK introduced small vinyl greenhouses to the DPRK. They are in use at all of our supported care centers, producing on average 1-3 tons of food every year – including long before and after, when crops can be grown in outdoor fields. We are urgently seeking funding to send at least two greenhouses to each TB and hepatitis care center in flood-affected areas. These greenhouses can be set up in 1-2 days, and can provide basic shelter immediately, and then transition in late fall/early spring to grow vitamin-rich crops such as spinach, crown daisy, lettuce, and cabbage. For people who have just lost the main summer harvest due to flooding, along with their small animals, household goods, kitchen gardens, winter fuel supply, clothing, and homes, greenhouse production can help to supply sustainable nutrition and bring hope to a very difficult situation.
We have just received an emergency $20,000 gift towards this effort from a generous donor. We need to raise another $36,000 to reach our goal to send a total of 14 greenhouses. If more funds are raised, they will be applied towards our existing greenhouse project in other parts of the DPRK.
We fear that TB and hepatitis care centers will soon have many more patients to care for due to the heavy toll that flooding can have on people’s lives and health. Please help us reach our goal quickly so we can order and send these greenhouses before the cold of winter sets in. Now more than ever before, the people of the DPRK need to know of God’s love and care for them through the loving hands of Christians.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and generous support!