U.S. City Partners With Relief Group to Help Tsunami Victims

City of Phoenix, Food for the Hungry Announce Historic Alliance

Jan 07, 2005, 00:00 ET from Food for the Hungry

    PHOENIX, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Food for the Hungry (FH) and the City of
 Phoenix today announced an historic partnership that will provide emergency
 relief and long-term development aid for survivors of last month's devastating
 tsunami.  Named "Rising to Help," the joint venture combines the strengths of
 both groups to help tens of thousands of survivors in Indonesia's Aceh
 Province (pronounced Ah-chay).
     "We've never seen so much devastation," said Ben Homan, president of Food
 for the Hungry (United States).  "Whole cities have been wiped out.  But
 today, I'm deeply moved by the bold leadership of the City of Phoenix.  This
 public-private partnership shines as an example of how to make a lasting
     The alliance will help rebuild the city of Meulaboh (pronounced May-ool-
 ah-bow), whose recovery is critical to the long-term stability of all
 Indonesia.  It's a town where one in every three of a population of 120,000
 people perished in the tsunami.
     Partnership goals include providing emergency intervention for orphans and
 displaced families, training the surviving population in new trades and income
 generation and helping to rebuild relations between the U.S. and Indonesian
 communities.  On Wednesday, January 12th, Vice Mayor Peggy Bilsten will travel
 to Indonesia with Food for the Hungry to further assess the needs of Meulaboh,
 Phoenix's adopted community.
     Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon challenged other US cities to adopt
 reconstruction projects in the devastated region.  "Phoenix has never been shy
 to lead," Gordon said.  "We're proud to be the first, but we don't' want to be
 the only."  Gordon also asked Phoenix employees, citizens and businesses to
 give and get involved.
     "The agenda is simple, -- 'Rise to Help,'" said Homan.  "Grassroots
 efforts in the US can make a huge difference, and they are.  This partnership
 with the City of Phoenix is more than just asking citizens to give a check,
 it's about getting involved to help the people of Meulaboh rebuild their
     Food for the Hungry has strategic partnerships around the world, but this
 is the first large-scale initiative where a US city is mobilizing citizens to
 reach out to those devastated by the recent disaster.  Officials believe this
 focused effort will provide greater impact, and allow Phoenicians more
 opportunities to connect with relief efforts than just making cash
     FH maintains an international hub in Thailand, which allowed trained
 relief staff to assess the situation and respond in Southeast Asia in less
 than 24 hours after the tsunami hit.  FH has since begun coordinating
 distributions of clean water and critically needed items, including food,
 shelter and clothing through its many partners throughout Thailand, Indonesia,
 India and Sri Lanka.
     FH and the City of Phoenix are urging businesses and individuals to help
 by calling 1-800-2-HUNGERS or by donating online at www.fh.org.  Food for the
 Hungry provides emergency relief and implements development programs in
 47 countries to help the world's most disadvantaged people.

SOURCE Food for the Hungry