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 initial $15,000 grant for relief work in Haiti

Emergency Response Stories, Haiti Stories, Latin America Caribbean Stories, Stories by Region, Stories by Theme
Hurricane Matthew satellite image from US Navy

Hurricane Matthew is the strongest storm to hit Haiti in almost a decade.  The nation, still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake, has been battered […]

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Reflecting on Fort McMurray

Canada Stories, Emergency Response Stories, Stories by Region, Stories by Theme
Susan Newton and Toks Adebayo serving lunch at the BBQ after the Thanksgiving service in Fort McMurray. Photo: Heather Roberts

All of us across Canada watched with shock, in early May of 2016, as wildfires engulfed areas around and even in the city of Fort […]

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PWRDF announces $30,000 for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda

Africa Stories, Emergency Response Stories, Refugees and Migrants Stories, South Sudan, Uncategorized

By early December 2015, Uganda had become home to almost 511,000 refugees and asylum seekers, making it the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, after […]

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Nepalese helping Nepalese

Emergency Response Stories, Stories by Theme
Airlifting construction supplies to Langtang in Nepal. Photo: Langtang Conservation Committee

After the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in April and May of 2015, PWRDF was approached by Nepalese Canadian Community Services, a Toronto-based group supporting Nepalese […]

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