Venezuela annual inflation at more than 4,000 percent: National Assembly

A woman and a child look at prices in a grocery store in downtown Caracas, Venezuela March 10, 2017.

By Girish Gupta

CARACAS (Reuters) – Prices in Venezuela rose 4,068 percent in the 12 months to the end of January, according to estimates by the country’s opposition-led National Assembly, broadly in line with independent economists’ figures.

Inflation in January alone was 84.2 percent, opposition lawmakers said, amid an economic crisis in which millions of Venezuelans are suffering food and medicine shortages.

The monthly figure implies annualized inflation of more than 150,000 per cent and that prices will double at least every 35 days.

With cash in short supply and banking and communications infrastructures struggling, day-to-day transactions are becoming increasingly difficult for Venezuelans.

The government blames the problems on an economic war waged by the opposition and business leaders, with a helping hand from Washington.

Critics in turn blame strict currency controls, which were enacted by Hugo Chavez 15 years ago this week. The bolivar is down some 40 percent against the dollar in the last month alone.

A million dollars of Venezuelan bolivars bought when the currency controls were introduced would now be worth just $7 on the black market.

The government has not published inflation data for more than two years though has increased the minimum wage repeatedly in a nod to rising prices.

The government raised the minimum wage 40 percent on Jan. 1, making it roughly equivalent now to just over $1 per month.

(Additional reporting by Leon Wietfeld; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Displaced by war, some Yemenis sift through garbage for food

Ayoub Mohammed Ruzaiq, 11, stands in a garbage dump where he collects recyclables and food near the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, January 13, 2018.

HODEIDAH, Yemen (Reuters) – After persistent Saudi-led air strikes on their home area in northwest Yemen, the Ruzaiq family packed their belongings and fled to the relative safety of Hodeidah port on the Red Sea.

But with no money or relatives to shelter them, the 18-member family joined a growing number of displaced Yemenis living on or next to the garbage dump of the Houthi-controlled city.

Despite the health risks, the dump has become a source of food for hundreds of impoverished Yemenis and given some young men a chance to try to earn some income.

People collect recyclables and food at a garbage dump near the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, January 14, 2018.

People collect recyclables and food at a garbage dump near the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, January 14, 2018. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

“We eat and drink the food that is thrown away,” said 11-year-old Ayoub Mohammed Ruzaiq. “We collect fish, meat, potatoes, onions and flour to make our own food.”

The United Nations estimates that more than two million people have been displaced by the war, which intensified in 2015 when an Arab coalition intervened to try to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power after the Houthis forced him into exile.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, crippled the economy, caused a cholera epidemic that has killed nearly 2,000 people and pushed the country to the verge of famine.

The Saudi-led coalition denies Houthi accusations that it targets civilians or civilian property in its operations. Riyadh sees the Houthis as a proxy militia linked to regional rival Iran. Both Iran and the Houthis deny any military cooperation.

Fatema Hassan Marouai, 53, who was driven from her home in Hodeidah by economic hardships, said that apart from picking up food thrown away by better off Yemenis, some displaced people collect metal cans and plastic bottles to sell to merchants for some cash to cover daily needs.

Ayoub Mohammed Ruzaiq, 11, stands in a garbage dump where he collects recyclables and food near the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, January 13, 2018.

Ayoub Mohammed Ruzaiq, 11, stands in a garbage dump where he collects recyclables and food near the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, January 13, 2018. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

But she said income from that activity was also declining.

Merchants who once paid up to 50 Yemeni rials ($0.11) for a kg of plastic bottles, now offer 10 rials only, she said.

“We had been in a bad situation and the war made things worse,” said Fatema.

Ruzaiq family patriarch Mohammed Ruzaiq, 67, said Yemenis were not asking for any aid from outside, just a goodwill effort to end the war.

“All we want is for them to stop this war and this calamity and God almighty will provide for us,” he said.

(Reporting by Abduljabbar Zeyad, writing by Sami Aboudi, Editing by William Maclean)

Lootings, scattered protests hit Venezuelan industrial city

A general view of the damage at a mini-market after it was looted in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela January 9, 2018.

By Maria Ramirez

CIUDAD GUAYANA, Venezuela (Reuters) – A second day of lootings and scattered street protests hit the Ciudad Guayana in southeastern Venezuela on Tuesday, as unrest grows in the once-booming industrial city plagued with food shortages and a malaria outbreak.

At least five food stores were looted overnight, with police sources saying some 20 people had been arrested. Angry Venezuelans also blocked three major roads to demand anti-malaria medicine, food, cooking gas and spare parts for trucks.

There has been increasing unrest around the South American OPEC member in the last few weeks as a fourth straight year of painful recession and the world’s highest inflation leaves millions unable to eat enough.

Erika Garcia tearfully recounted how looters ransacked her food shop and home just 10 minutes after National Guard soldiers who had been patrolling the area withdrew late on Monday night.

“They stole everything. They broke off the water pipes, they ripped off the toilet bowl, they took away the windows, the fences, the doors, the beds. Everything. They did not kill us because we ran, but they did beat us up,” said Garcia, 38, who planned to sleep at a relative’s house on Tuesday night

She said there was no way she could reopen her store.

The overnight lootings follow at least four similar in the early hours of Monday. Around 10 liquor stores were also looted on Christmas day in southeastern Bolivar state, according to the local chamber of commerce head Florenzo Schettino.

Critics blame President Nicolas Maduro and the ruling Socialist Party for Venezuela’s economic mess, saying they have persisted with failed statist policies for too long while turning a blind eye to rampant corruption and suffering.

The government says it is the victim of an “economic war” by political opponents and right-wing foreign powers, intent on bringing down Maduro in a coup. The Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment about the lootings on Tuesday.

The wave of plunder has spooked many in Ciudad Guyana, leading more people to stay indoors come nightfall and dissuading some stores from opening.

Metal worker Alvaro Becerra lives near a store that was ransacked overnight.

“We lived a night of terror,” said Becerra, 52, adding he heard gunshots and saw people carrying a freezer full of food.

“Today everything is closed. There’s no place to buy. The only people who are working are those who sell vegetables,” he said.

(Reporting by Maria Ramirez; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

North Korean women suffer discrimination, rape, malnutrition: U.N.

Women wearing traditional clothes walk past North Korean soldiers after an opening ceremony for a newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea April 13, 2017.

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korean women are deprived of education and job opportunities and are often subjected to violence at home and sexual assault in the workplace, a U.N. human rights panel said on Monday.

After a regular review of Pyongyang’s record, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women also voiced concern at rape or mistreatment of women in detention especially those repatriated after fleeing abroad.

North Korean women are “under-represented or disadvantaged” in tertiary education, the judiciary, security and police forces and leadership and managerial positions “in all non-traditional areas of work”, the panel of independent experts said.

“The main issue is first of all the lack of information. We have no access to a large part of laws, elements and information on national machinery,” Nicole Ameline, panel member, told Reuters. “We have asked a lot of questions.”

North Korea told the panel on Nov. 8 that it was working to uphold women’s rights and gender equality but that sanctions imposed by major powers over its nuclear and missile programs were taking a toll on vulnerable mothers and children.

Domestic violence is prevalent and there is “very limited awareness” about the issue and a lack of legal services, psycho-social support and shelters available for victims, the panel said.

It said economic sanctions had a disproportionate impact on women. North Korean women suffer “high levels of malnutrition”, with 28 percent of pregnant or lactating women affected, it said.

“We have called on the government to be very, very attentive to the situation of food and nutrition. Because we consider that it is a basic need and that the government has to invest and to assume its responsibilities in this field,” Ameline said.

“Unfortunately I am not sure that the situation will improve very quickly.”

The report found that penalties for rape in North Korea were not commensurate with the severity of the crime, which also often goes unpunished. Legal changes in 2012 lowered the penalties for some forms of rape, including the rape of children, rape by a work supervisor and repeated rape.

This has led to reducing the punishment for forcing “a woman in a subordinate position” to have sexual intercourse from four years to three years, the report said.

It said women trafficked abroad and then returned to North Korea, are reported to be sent to labor training camps or prisons, accused of “illegal border crossing”, and may be exposed to further violations of their rights, including sexual violence by security officials and forced abortions.

 

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Alison Williams)

 

Unversed in debt details, Venezuelans desperate for any relief

People line up to pay for their fruits and vegetables at a street market in Caracas, Venezuela November 3, 2017.

By Alexandra Ulmer and Andrew Cawthorne

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelans heaving under an unprecedented economic meltdown know little about the finer points of foreign debt negotiations, but long for anything that would put more food on their plate and slow the world’s highest inflation.

Few on the streets of capital Caracas really understood unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro’s announcement this week that he would seek to refinance the oil-rich nation’s heavy bond burden of $60 billion – or about $2,000 per person.

But those interviewed by Reuters said they were hoping any deals between the government and its multiple foreign creditors would free up foreign currency to increase imports of scarce food, medicine, and basic products.

“Maybe it will work, and improve the country,” said Johny Vargas, 53, a construction worker who says he often only eats twice a day because his salary is gobbled up by price increases.

“Everything is so expensive. There’s no food, nothing. Maduro’s useless. Look at the bad state we’re in.”

Up to now, Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party has prioritized debt payments by slashing imports, compounding four years of recession and shortages on the shelves.

Should a debt renegotiation be reached, it could free more money in the short-term for the government to bring in basic foods and medicines.

But Wall Street is skeptical, and so are many Venezuelans.

“We can’t have strong negotiations. We don’t have the credibility to sit down and make requests,” said 35 year-old accountant Mayerling Delgado, referring to Venezuela’s increasingly fraught relations with many other countries.

“So we have to pay,” she added in a resigned tone, in a busy Caracas plaza.

Experts have long warned that debt accrued under late leader Hugo Chavez was unsustainable, and urged Maduro’s government to refinance its debt load.

But pursuing such an operation now is near impossible given Venezuela’s economic mess, a dearth of technocrats in the government, and, especially, sanctions that bar U.S. banks from participating in or negotiating new Venezuelan debt deals.

 

NOT PAYING IS WORSE?

Most Venezuelans balk at the idea of a default, which would trigger lawsuits by creditors seeking to seize assets such as refineries in the United States. That could plunge the OPEC nation of 30 million people into even worse hardship.

“The majority of the population has consistently perceived a default as a negative move that could hurt the country’s economy,” said economist Luis Vicente Leon of pollster Datanalisis.

But with many analysts viewing a default as ultimately unavoidable given the parlous state of Venezuela’s coffers, some said it might be better to bite the bullet.

“What’s the science behind paying when you’ve already lost? It’s not what we as Venezuelans want … but there’s no other way out, unfortunately,” said beautician Harlee Tovitto, 42. She plans to emigrate to neighboring Colombia soon because she can no longer afford clothes or insurance for her three children.

Amid a deepening spat with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, some Venezuelans think Caracas would find a way out of its bond mess if it weren’t for the U.S. sanctions.

“If Venezuela has always paid its debt … why can’t they refinance?,” said Rafael Moreno, 30, a lawyer and former Chavez supporter who now says he does not back either the government or opposition.

 

(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer and Andrew Cawthorne, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

 

U.N. tells Australia to restore food, water supplies to PNG refugees

Asylum seekers protest on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in this picture taken from social media November 3, 2017

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations human rights office called on Australia on Friday to restore food, water and health services to about 600 interned refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea, which Canberra cut off three days ago.

The detainees in the Manus Island Centre have defied attempts by the governments of both Australia and PNG to close the camp, saying they fear violent reprisals from the local community if they are moved to other “transit centers”.

“We call on the Australian government … who interned the men in the first place to immediately provide protection, food, water and other basic services,” U.N. rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing.

Australia has an obligation to do so under international human rights law and the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention, he said.

There was no immediate comment from Australia or its representatives in Geneva. Its government has said the camp had been ruled illegal by PNG authorities and it had committed to supply other sites for 12 months.

Colville joined the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in warning of an “unfolding humanitarian emergency” in the center where asylum seekers began digging wells on Thursday to try to find water as their food supplies dwindled.

The remote Manus Island center has been a key part of Australia’s disputed immigration policy under which it refuses to allow asylum seekers arriving by boat to reach its shores, detaining them instead in PNG and Naura in the South Pacific.

“We repeat our overall concerns about Australian offshore processing centers which are unsustainable, inhumane and contradictory to its human rights obligations,” Colville said.

Around 500 of the men have still not had their asylum claims processed, he said.

“And obviously the sooner the better, some of them have been there I think for four years,” Colville said. “So that’s a very long time to sit in effectively a detention center disguised as a regional processing center without your case being processed.”

The alternative accommodation being proposed is not finished or adequate to meet their needs, including security, he said.

“We have conveyed to the Australian government and to the local government of Papua New Guinea as well that until the time the accommodation is ready, refugees should not be moved there,” UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said.

“But also we have urged Australia and PNG to de-escalate the situation, resume basic services – water, electricity, medical services as well,” he said.

The last food distribution was on Sunday, he said.

“Australia’s policy of deterrence by rescuing people at sea, mistreating them and abandoning them has become a notion of cruelty,” Baloch said.

 

 

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Larry King and Andrew Heavens)

 

Convoy rolls into Damascus suburbs with aid for 40,000

Smoke rises at a damaged site in Ain Tarma, eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria, September 14, 2017.

GENEVA (Reuters) – A convoy from the United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent entered towns in the besieged Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta on Monday, bringing aid to 40,000 people for the first time since June 2016, the United Nations said.

A tightening siege by government forces has pushed people to the verge of famine in the eastern suburbs, residents and aid workers said last week, bringing desperation to the only major rebel enclave near the Syrian capital.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Twitter they had entered the towns of Kafra Batna and Saqba.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said in a separate tweet that the inter-agency convoy had 49 trucks.

They carried food, nutrition and health items for 40,000 people in need, OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke said. “The last time we reached these two locations were in June 2016,” he said.

A health worker in Saqba who was present when the convoy started to offload said that nine trucks of foodstuffs, including milk and peanut butter, and four trucks of medicines had arrived so far.

Technical specialists were on board to assess needs in the towns in order to plan a further humanitarian response, he said.

“More aid to complement today’s delivery is planned in the coming days,” Laerke added.

At least 1,200 children in eastern Ghouta suffer from malnutrition, with 1,500 others at risk, a spokeswoman for the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said last week.

Bettina Luescher, spokeswoman of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), said the convoy carried nutrition supplies for 16,000 children.

Food, fuel and medicine once travelled across frontlines into the suburbs through a network of underground tunnels. But early this year, an army offensive nearby cut smuggling routes that provided a lifeline for around 300,000 people in the enclave east of the capital.

 

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Additional reporting by Ellen Francis in Beirut; Editing by Alison Williams and Peter Graff)

 

Myanmar gives green light to resume food aid to Rakhine, says U.N.

Myanmar gives green light to resume food aid to Rakhine, says U.N.

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) – Myanmar authorities have agreed to allow the United Nations to resume distribution of food in northern Rakhine state which was suspended for two months, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.

The agreement, whose details are still being worked out, came as UNICEF reported that Rohingya refugee children fleeing into Bangladesh were arriving “close to death” from malnutrition.

The WFP was previously distributing food rations to 110,000 people in northern Rakhine state – to both Buddhist and the minority Muslim Rohingya communities.

Rohingya insurgent attacks on police stations triggered an army crackdown, that the United Nations has called “ethnic cleansing”, and U.N. humanitarian agencies have not been able to access northern Rakhine to deliver aid since then. WFP deliveries have continued to 140,000 people in central Rakhine.

“WFP has been given the green light to resume food assistance operations in northern part of Rakhine. We are working with the government to coordinate the details,” WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher told journalists in Geneva.

She had no timeline or details on the proposed distribution of rations to northern Rakhine, and said it was still being discussed with the authorities in Myanmar.

“We just have to see what the situation on the ground is. It’s very hard to say these things if you can’t get in,” Luescher said.

Some 604,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh in the past two months, bringing the total to 817,000, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Malnutrition rates in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships in Rakhine, where the vast majority of the Rohingya refugees originate, were already above emergency threshold rates before the crisis, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.

“Since August 25, we have had to stop treating 4,000 children with severe acute malnutrition in northern Rakhine because we have had no access,” UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told the briefing.

UNICEF has screened nearly 60,000 Rohingya refugee children arriving in Bangladesh, nearly 2,000 of whom have been identified as having severe acute malnutrition, with another 7,000 moderately acutely malnourished, she said.

The agency screened 340 children among recent arrivals, a “rough and rapid exercise” that found 10 percent to be severely acutely malnourished, she said.

“This is an extremely small number of children so these numbers are not representative,” Mercado said.

“But what they do tell us is that some of the children are close to death by the time they make it across the border.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay,; editing by Tom Miles and Richard Balmforth)

‘I can’t take this any more’ – Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar in new surge

Rohingya refugees, who arrived from Myanmar last night, walk in a rice field after crossing the border in Palang Khali near Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh

By Tom Allard and Nurul Islam

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar fled to Bangladesh on Monday in a new surge of refugees driven by fears of starvation and violence the United Nations has denounced as ethnic cleansing.

Reuters reporters on the Bangladeshi side of the border, in Palong Khali district, saw several thousand people crossing from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, filing along embankments between flooded fields and scrubby forest.

“Half of my village was burnt down. I saw them do it,” said Sayed Azin, 46, who said he had walked for eight days carrying his 80-year-old mother in a basket strung on a bamboo pole between him and his son.

Soldiers and Buddhist mobs had torched his village, he said.

“I left everything,” he said, sobbing. “I can’t find my relatives … I can’t take this any more.”

Some new arrivals spoke of bloody attacks by Buddhist mobs on people trekking toward the border.

Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar make their way through the rice field after crossing the border in Palang Khali, Bangladesh

Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar make their way through the rice field after crossing the border in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

About 519,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since Aug. 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts in Rakhine sparked a ferocious military response.

Refugees and rights groups say the army and Buddhist vigilantes have engaged in a campaign of killing and arson aimed at driving the Rohingya out of Myanmar.

Myanmar rejects accusations of ethnic cleansing and has labeled the militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who launched the initial attacks as terrorists who have killed civilians and burnt villages.

Among those fleeing were up to 35 people on a boat that capsized off the Bangladesh coast on Sunday. At least 12 of them drowned while 13 were rescued, Bangladeshi police said.

“We faced so many difficulties, for food and survival,” Sayed Hossein, 30, told Reuters, adding that his wife, three children, mother and father in law had drowned.

“We came here to save our lives.”

 

‘GETTING WORSE’

The Myanmar government has said its “clearance operations” against the militants ended in early September and people had no reason to flee. But in recent days the government has reported large numbers of Muslims preparing to leave, with more than 17,000 people in one area alone.

The government cited worries about food and security as their reasons.

Some villagers in Rakhine said food was running out because rice in the fields was not ready for harvest and the state government had closed village markets and restricted the transport of food, apparently to cut supplies to the militants.

“The situation’s getting worse. We have no food and no guarantee of security,” said a Rohingya resident of Hsin Hnin Pyar village on the south of the state’s Buthidaung district.

He said a lot of people were preparing to flee.

“While the Myanmar military has engaged in a campaign of violence, there is mounting evidence that Rohingya women, men and children are now also fleeing the very real threat of starvation,” rights group Amnesty International said.

Senior state government official Kyaw Swar Tun declined to go into details when asked about the food, except to ask, “Have you heard of anyone dying of hunger in Buthidaung?”

The reports of food shortages will add to the urgency of calls by aid agencies and the international community for unfettered humanitarian access to the conflict zone.

The insurgents declared a one-month ceasefire from Sept. 10 to enable the delivery of aid but the government rebuffed them, saying it did not negotiate with terrorists.

The ceasefire is due to end at midnight on Monday but the insurgents said in a statement they were ready to respond to any peace move by the government.

The ability of the group to mount any sort of challenge to the army is not known, but it does not appear to have been able to put up resistance to the latest military offensive.

Students of a local madrasa watch from inside their classroom as bodies of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, who were killed when their boat capsized on the way to Bangladesh, are brought to their school in Shah Porir Dwip, in Teknaf, near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, October 9, 2017.

Students of a local madrasa watch from inside their classroom as bodies of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, who were killed when their boat capsized on the way to Bangladesh, are brought to their school in Shah Porir Dwip, in Teknaf, near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

COMING, GOING

Bangladesh was already home to 400,000 Rohingya who had fled earlier bouts of violence.

Mostly Buddhist Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya as citizens, even though many have lived there for generations.

But even as refugees arrive, Bangladesh insists they will all have to go home. Myanmar has responded by saying it will take back those who can be verified as genuine refugees.

Many Rohingya fear they will not be able to prove their right to return.

Myanmar leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has faced scathing international criticism for not doing more to stop the violence, although she has no power over the security forces under a military-drafted constitution.

The United States and Britain have warned Myanmar the crisis is putting at risk the progress it has made since the military began to loosen its grip on power in 2011.

 

(Additonal reportin by Damir Sagolj in COX’S BAZAR, Wa Lone in YANGON; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Nick Macfie)

 

Morningside disaster team in Florida – Lives can change in only a day

One home destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Immokalee, Florida,

By Kami Klein

Imagine being a hard working family in a small agricultural town in Florida.  You don’t have much but everyday you give it the best you can. You work hard, you love your family and you support your church.  But then a storm like Hurricane Irma hits and is unlike any storm you can remember.  The town you knew, the job you went to everyday,  your home where your family and friends gathered and the simple vital items such as food and clean water are gone.

This is the fate of thousands of people in Immokalee, Florida, one of the hardest hit communities of Hurricane Irma.  With no power, lack of good drinking water and warm meals for families, the people in this community have been devastated.  At this very moment, the donations you have provided through our Disaster Relief fund  are giving hope and food to hungry people who have lost literally everything.

Yesterday our Morningside team, Mondo DeLaVega, Ricky Bakker, Tammy Sue Bakker, Daina Martin and our camera crew David Zorob, Hamilton Neumann and Adam Armstrong, began handing out the food from our food buckets.  The people stood in line for hours, waiting to fill bags, boxes and buckets up with rice, beans, pancake mix, vegetable stew, milk, banana and apple chips and so much more because of YOUR gifts to the relief effort.  At times, the line seemed never ending, and the experience of seeing so many who were waiting so patiently for help stirred the deepest emotions in the volunteers who were there.  

Another home destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Florida

Another-home-in-florida-damaged-by-Hurricane-Irma

Tammy Sue Bakker attempted to share the emotions that the volunteers were feeling. “If you have a heart, it’s just so hard to talk about it…We’ve got to keep helping people.  We have no choice!”  

Mondo and Tammy Sue agreed that the entire team has been completely changed by this humbling experience, and the needs they have seen from the disaster in Houston and now Florida are surreal.  On a Facebook live message Mondo wanted to deeply impress the great need that is going on all over the world right now.  

“We need your help.  This is not just a one day effort, this is an everyday kind of effort.  People need ministries like this one to give food and supplies.  Every little bit helps here but please, be a part of what we are doing right now.  This food we give today will only last a little while and then these families have to go out to find more.  Pray for this community, the volunteers, donate what you can and please pray for us!”  

The crew has been busy gathering stories and filming the community of Immokalee. The relief effort that is ongoing will be shared soon on The Jim Bakker Show. 

Danny Viera owns the only Christian bookstore in Fr. Myers. He has been coordinating all of the food for this effort.

Danny Viera owns the only Christian bookstore in Fr. Myers. He has been coordinating all of the food for this effort.

Your donations are making a huge impact in this disaster relief effort, but the urgency and the need is quite overwhelming!  We need you!  

So many have asked about our ministry going to help in Puerto Rico.  We are doing all we can to get there.  There are many logistics involved in getting this food to where it needs to go, so we must rely on your compassion and financial generosity to help us get these supplies to those that are starving right now in that country!  

Again, we thank you for your prayers!  Those many people who stood in line yesterday, their arms filled with food for their families when they walked home cannot thank you as they would wish but you are in their grateful prayers tonight!

With so much need around the world right now, it takes all of us to make a difference!  Please be a part of what God is asking us to do now!  

Give your gift today!!