Emergency Relief Program

On every continent, there are communities in crisis where people’s lives have been severely or totally disrupted and where people have been forced to leave their homes and live as internally displaced communities or as refugees. The causes of these disruptions include natural or human made disasters and/or oppressive, unjust or ill-advised socio-economic, political and environmental policies and practices. The consequences of such disruptions are hardest on impoverished and marginalized peoples. PWRDF provides emergency relief to world-wide humanitarian disasters that severely disrupt peoples lives and negatively impact on their ability to cope.


Action By Churches Together (ACT) Alliance

PWRDF is a member of the ACT Alliance–a global, ecumenical alliance of 125 churches and agencies engaged in humanitarian relief, development, and advocacy.  In almost any emergency, one or more ACT members were already working in the community before the international press came and will be there long after they have left. ACT members start the emergency response on the day of the disaster, providing life-saving food, shelter, water and sanitation.

PWRDF uses the ACT mechanism to channel almost all of its emergency response.  PWRDF  gives priority to emergency appeals for needs in countries of the south (Africa, Middle east, Asia/Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean). Within these countries, PWRDF gives priority to forgotten emergencies and appeals that are under subscribed.

The members of ACT are Protestant and Orthodox churches and their related agencies, drawn from the membership of the World Council of Churches and The Lutheran World Federation.

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank


PWRDF sometimes responds to food-specific emergencies (droughts, famines) through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB), an ecumenical agency dedicated to end global hunger. The projects we support:

  • Provide food assistance to people with immediate food needs;
  • Work with communities to improve food security (provide food for themselves in the longer-term) through improved agricultural techniques and income generations; and
  • Help families and communities improve their nutrition.

CFGB supported projects receive matching funds from the Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), often at a ratio of 4:1.

Canadian Churches in Action

PWRDF is a founding member of Canadian Churches in Action (CCA), an informal alliance of 10 Canadian church-based agencies, all of whom are also members of CFGB.  CCA has enabled PWRDF to collaborate with other member agencies on non-food emergency responses, such as shelter provision following the 2010 Pakistan floods.  This work is enhanced by accessing grants from agencies such as CIDA, the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) and the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC).

Recent Emergency Response Stories:

PWRDF Announces $10,000 in Relief Funds as Instability continues in Burundi

Africa Stories, Burundi Stories, Emergency Response Stories, Stories by Region, Stories by Theme
Act Alliance Logo

Political unrest in the east African country of Burundi after mass protests and a failed coup attempt has driven thousands of Burundians to flee both […]

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Rebuilding Moktan-Tole Village

Asia Pacific Stories, Emergency Response Stories, Stories by Region, Stories by Theme
PWRDF's Naba Gurung (left) talking with villagers in Moktantole, Nepal amid the wreckage of their houses. The building behind is the temporary housing built by the villages with supplies provided by ACT.

Naba Gurung, PWRDF’s Humanitarian Response Coordinator, arrived in Nepal on May 14, just after the second major earthquake struck. Now back in Canada, he describes […]

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Nepal bulletin insert for May 24 available

Asia Pacific Stories, Emergency Response Stories, Stories by Region, Stories by Theme
PWRDF is contributing to the ACT Alliance response to the Nepal earthquakes. Here's how we're helping. Infographic: ACT

As aftershocks continue to cause fear and damage in Nepal, PWRDF is providing relief supplies through the ACT Alliance.  Shelter, food, clean water and sanitation, […]

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