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HISTORY

1940s

  • The War Relief Commission of the NAE is founded in NYC to address urgent humanitarian needs in war-torn Europe.
  • Food and clothing are shipped from the US and channeled through a network of churches in Europe’s hardest-hit cities.
  • War Relief Commission’s motto: “Food for the body and food for the soul.”

1950s

  • The War Relief Commission changes its name to World Relief and launches an aid program in Korea, serving 31,000 hot meals a day at 140 feeding centers.
  • In other areas of the world, partnerships with evangelical churches are established.

1960s

  • (1960) Dr. C. N. Hosteller, World Relief’s chairman, joins President Kennedy’s “Food for Peace” committee to help get more food to the world’s poorest regions.
  • (1961) Taiwan: Aid for lepers
  • Egypt: Aid for orphans
  • Korean: Aid for flood victims
  • China and Chile: Aid for earthquake survivors
  • (1964) Burundi: clothing, food and medicine benefit 67,000 people
  • Hong Kong: 2,000 vulnerable children participate in a daily feeding program
  • (1965) Vietnam, World Relief launches agricultural training and supports health programs in Nhatrang Christian Hospital.
  • (1968) Chile: “Food for work” programs assist 94,000 people.

1970s

  • (1970) Peru – World Relief provides vital aid to earthquake victims
  • Bangladesh – following a devastating cyclone, World Relief helps dig 200 new wells, distribute food, rebuild homes and care for 200,000 orphans.
  • (1972) Vietnam – World Relief cares for 100,000 war-displaced people
  • Ethiopia – World Relief responds to severe famine.
  • (1975) Cambodia – World Relief provides food and medical care to refugees fleeing the Khmer Rouge genocide.
  • (1979) US – World Relief launches its refugee resettlement ministry, helping Vietnamese boat people adjust to life in America.
  • World Relief is the only evangelical agency authorized by the US State Department to resettle refugees.

1980s

  • (1981) Philippines – World Relief helps churches bring relief and hope in a time of political and economic turmoil and natural disasters. By 1990, more than 10,000 new churches have been started.
  • (1983) Actor Charlton Heston hosts World Relief’s first television special, “When Will the Dying Stop?” The special focuses on Bangladesh and India. Heston says World Relief has shown him the importance of empowering the poor to improve their own lives.
  • (1985) World Relief’s motto is: “When all is said and done, make sure more is done than said.”
  • (1987) El Salvador – World Relief and churches rebuild 5,500 homes after a devastating earthquake strikes.
  • (1988) Haiti – World Relief launches the “Alive at Five” program, providing immunizations and other measures aimed at protecting vulnerable children under 5.
  • Indonesia – World Relief builds a hydroelectric dam to supply electricity to a hospital serving a community of 2,000 people.
  • (1989) Mozambique – World Relief provides food, clothing and shelter for 10,000 victims of war.

1990s

  • (1994) World Relief responds to the genocide in Rwanda, assisting 42,000 traumatized and displaced people. Vital relief also helps war victims in Croatia and Serbia during the Balkans crisis.
  • (1997) World Relief launches its microfinance program – called LifeLoans – providing credit services to 34,642 vulnerable people in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • (1998) Mobilizing for Life – World Relief’s church-centered program to confront AIDS – gets under way in Rwanda and Mozambique, focusing on AIDS awareness, prevention and care.

2000s

  • (2001) World Relief relocated its headquarters to Baltimore, Maryland, under the leadership of Dr. Clive Calver. Within weeks of the move, World Relief responds to the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, supporting church-centered trauma counseling services in NYC.
  • (2003) Verhonga – World Relief’s child survival program in Mozambique – reports amazing results: 91% of infants fully vaccinated, 97% of malnourished children receive enriched porridge, and 85% sleep under mosquito nets.
  • (2004) World Relief responds to the catastrophic Asia tsunami, focusing on the hardest-hit region of Aceh Province, Indonesia. World Relief opens its immigration Legal Clinic in Baltimore, providing affordable services to immigrants, including victims of trafficking and domestic violence.
  • (2005) Church teams supported by World Relief respond to Hurricane Katrina, rebuilding homes along the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast and counseling traumatized survivors. Across the globe in war-torn Darfur, World Relief and partners provide relief and care for 35,000 uprooted people.
  • (2009) In Cambodia, World Relief’s Hope program gives birth to more than 800 indigenous cell churches.

2010s

  • (2014) World Relief celebrates its 70th birthday and 35 years of refugee resettlement in the United States. In total, World Relief has welcomed over 250 thousand refugees from more than 80 countries.
  • (2014) World Relief partners with MAP International to respond to the largest Ebola epidemic in history. World Relief provides medical training and supplies to those affected by the devastating outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
  • (2014) During a time of unprecedented displacement, World Relief stands with the more than 10 million men, women and children forced from their homes in Iraq and Syria. World Relief works with local churches to provide winter weather gear and trauma healing for the displaced.
  • (2015) World Relief celebrates 20 years of Care Groups. Developed from World Relief’s first Child Survival project in Mozambique, Dr. Pieter Ernst designed a way to reach a large group of people through generating a network of health worker volunteers within each local community. Implemented in over 21 countries, 23 NGOs have adopted this model of caregiving. Dr. Ernst was awarded the 2014 Dory Storms Child Survival Recognition in honor of this lifesaving program.

 

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