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