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Archbishops' Zimbabwe appeal raises almost £300,000 to date

Sunday 10th May 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, have this week seen public donations for their joint Zimbabwe appeal reach £292,330. The appeal highlights the support needed by churches, which are struggling to feed the hungry and provide health care.







In a joint statement, the Archbishops said:

"The support of the general public has been overwhelming, and we have been humbled by the response so far.  We know that rebuilding Zimbabwe is a long-term aim, and this short intervention is still only reaching a small number of the many millions in need.  Thank you for enabling us to do this.

"Our brother Bishops in Zimbabwe have highlighted the need for immediate relief activities to address the cholera epidemic and starvation, but also that we support programmes that provide long term  solutions to poverty. So at their request we will be providing seed-corn for crops in time for the planting season which normally starts end of October.

"More of the dioceses of Zimbabwe are expected to send in their  specific requirements in the next few weeks, and they have told us that their focus will be on  the most vulnerable in their communities; those living with HIV, the elderly as well as children. 

Staff from USPG and Lambeth Palace have just returned from meeting with the Zimbabwe bishops and their staff to hear their long terms plans for community work in the areas of health, agriculture and peace building. 

"Whilst we know that food is the first priority we have also committed to buy medicines, initially for six clinics, and we expect the first of these vital medical supplies to be dispatched in the next weeks.

Three dioceses, those of Central Zimbabwe, Masvingo and Matabeleland, are the first ones to roll out the supplementary feeding programme in schools, and Easter week saw the first food distributed through the Church schools.

The Rt Revd Michael Doe, General Secretary of USPG; Anglicans in World Mission said: 

"We've been astounded by the response of the General Public, and we thank all those that have supported the Archbishops' appeal over Lent – we know of many more churches and dioceses who have pledged to support the appeal in the Easter season and beyond."

The Archbishops' appeal (which is being administered on their behalf by USPG:  Anglicans in World Mission) will be accepting donations for the rest of 2009.

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